Caroline Flack, British Television Host, passes away and brings to light the detrimental nature of relentless U.K. Tabloids.
Many people know Caroline Flack as the host for the popular reality shows, Love Island, Love Island: Aftersun, and The X Factor. On February 15th, 2020, the British television host and personality, was found dead in her apartment in London. The British star committed suicide at 40 years old. Flack is also the third person involved with Love Island to commit suicide. In the past, Flack had spoken up about mental health awareness and how it can affect anybody, even celebrities. Flack had even more recently shared on her social media that she had been dealing with anxiety and depression and going to therapy sessions. She also shared with her audience about her experience with taking antidepressants.
Prior to her death, Flack was awaiting trial following assault charges against her boyfriend, Lewis Burton. The incident happened in England on December 12th, 2019. Burton did not want to press charges, but the Crown Prosecution Service, which is an independent, public criminal prosecutor in England, decided to follow through with a trial anyway in case Burton was being manipulated into dropping the charges.
The British media followed the story extremely closely from the start, painting Flack as an evil villain prior to the trial and despite not hearing both sides to the story. Days ago, Flack’s family released an Instagram draft that the star intended to post prior to her death. The post explained how she took responsibility for the incident involving her boyfriend, but she was not a domestic abuser, it was a one-time accident. Boyfriend, Lewis Burton, also took to social media after the star’s death. Burton posted on his Instagram with the caption, “I will be your voice baby I promise I will ask all the questions you wanted and I will get all the answers nothing will bring you back but I will try make you proud everyday. I love you with all my heart,” showing the couple had been getting along well prior to Flack’s death.
Lots of people believe that social media and the British media are to blame for the star’s death, as Caroline Flack had long been a target of British tabloids such as The Sun, Daily Mail, and The Daily Star. Flack’s love life had been repeatedly dissected in the relentless tabloid stories. The Love Island host was scrutinized for almost every single relationship she had, especially when she was dating Prince Harry and Harry Styles.
Citizens of the U.K. have long been angered by the British tabloids’ prying stories and dangerously negative impact on celebrities, especially the Royal Family. 400,000 people signed a petition to enact a law named after Caroline Flack, called Caroline’s Law. The law would prevent media sites from “sharing private information that is detrimental to a celebrity, their mental health and those around them” (Marshall). This law could be a game-changer for British media and for British celebrities. Although this law has been suggested multiple times, following events such as Princess Diana’s death, it is extremely unlikely that it will actually be enacted. Hopefully Caroline Flack’s death will bring more awareness to mental health and tabloids will attempt to change their harmful ways.