Caroline Flack’s boyfriend ‘leaked photo from night of her arrest’, star’s mother says


Caroline Flack’s mother has said her daughter was “seriously let down by the authorities” before she died – and also accused her boyfriend of leaking a photo of the bloody scene from the night of the star’s arrest.

Flack, 40, died at her flat in north London in February just a few weeks before she was due to go on trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

Her mother Christine Flack and twin sister Jody both submitted statements to her inquest, which started on Wednesday, and were tearful as they appeared at the coroner’s court in east London via video-link, along with other witnesses.

Caroline Flack attends the GQ Men of the Year awards at Tate Modern on September 5, 2018 in London
Caroline Flack died at her flat in north London in February

Paramedics, a prosecutor and a Met Police detective inspector all gave evidence during the proceedings, along with two of the star’s friends who were with her on the morning of her death.

Mrs Flack echoed a statement put out by the star’s management at the time of her death, saying she believed the prosecution against her daughter was a “show trial” and that she had been let down, in particular by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

“Being well known should not allow special treatment, but should not allow making an example of someone,” she said.

“She lost the job she worked so hard at.

More from Caroline Flack

“I was with her the weekend before her death, in her new flat. When I said goodbye to her that day I never thought it would be for the last time.”

Later in the hearing, Mrs Flack asked about a photo published by some newspapers following Flack’s arrest

Caroline Flack with the BAFTA for Best Reality and Constructed Factual show in the press room during the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London
The Love Island presenter picked up a BAFTA for the show in 2018

She told the court Mr Burton had sent the picture to an ex-girlfriend.

“Lewis sent the photo of the blood and sent it to his friend,” Mrs Flack said, during evidence given by the star’s friend Mollie Grosberg.

Ms Grosberg replied: “As far as I know, this is the God’s honest truth, she never mentioned a word to me that he had sold or given the photo to an ex-girlfriend. That was never mentioned to me.”

In response, Mrs Flack said: “She said it to me and it was devastating that she found out.”

Caroline Flack won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014
She also won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014

Following her arrest and initial court appearance in December 2019, the TV star had been subject to much scrutiny in the press and on social media.

Ms Grosberg, who visited the TV presenter’s house along with another friend the day before her death, described how Flack suffered more with her mental health the more famous she became.

“Increasingly over the last few years she had a lot of heartache and the press seemed to pick up a lot on her,” she said.

“She was very sad all the time. Normally, the kind of person she was, she could pick herself up.

“But she couldn’t after [her arrest in] December… she lost who she was and she couldn’t get it back.”

Ms Grosberg said she had phoned the non-emergency 111 number after becoming concerned about Flack on the evening of 14 February last year and had later called for an ambulance.

One of the paramedics called to Flack’s flat told the inquest they had “no power” to force her to go to hospital because she was assessed as having “capacity” to make her own decisions.

Instead they told her friends that they would have to do some “babysitting”.

Ms Grosberg said the TV star was “scared to go to prison” and kept saying that the lives of her family members had been “ruined” by her arrest.

Caroline Flack at the National Television Awards
Caroline Flack at the National Television Awards

Flack’s twin sister, Jody, also told how the star had spent “the last few months of her life hiding inside, scared of the abuse”.

She said her sister’s life and reputation were “falling apart to the point of no return because of a false accusation” after she was branded “an abuser” on the front pages of national newspapers.

Ms Flack also claimed the incident had resulted in a “minor injury” to Mr Burton but more serious injuries to her sister.

Mr Burton, 28, had said he did not support Flack’s prosecution and in a statement read by the coroner, he described how the last time he had seen her she was “very upset, in fact devastated”.

He said the media were “constantly bashing her character” and “generally hounding her daily”.

Caroline Flack
Caroline Flack was said to be ‘very sad all the time’

Just hours after Flack’s death, her management released a statement hitting out at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for pressing ahead with a “show trial” despite knowing she was “vulnerable”.

However, following a review of the way the former Love Island presenter’s case was dealt with, the CPS said it found the decision to go ahead with the trial was “handled appropriately”.

In a separate review, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said no formal investigation was needed into the Met Police’s contact with the star as they found “no causal link” between officers’ actions and her death.

Flack left behind her twin sister Jody, elder brother Paul, elder sister Elizabeth and her parents Ian and Christine.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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