Former "Love Island" Host Caroline Flack Has Been Found Dead At Her Home

    Celebrities have expressed their shock and sadness at the 40-year-old's death. "I'm trying to find the words but I can't," Laura Whitmore said.

    David M. Benett / Getty Images

    Caroline Flack poses with the award for Best Reality and Constructed Factual Series at the British Academy Television Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in 2018.

    Caroline Flack, a British television presenter and former host of Love Island, was found dead at her home earlier today.

    In a family statement, her loved ones said: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February. We would ask that the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”

    The 40-year-old, who lived in London, was accused of assaulting her boyfriend, Lewis Burton, and was due to stand trial March 4. The charges led to Flack stepping down from her job as presenter of Love Island.

    Flack began hosting the series in 2015. She cohosted the 12th series of The X Factor alongside Olly Murs and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014.

    Speaking on her departure from the ITV2 dating show, Flack said in a statement: "Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly.

    "In order to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for series six."

    Burton, 27, did not press charges over the alleged attack, but he spoke at the time of a "witch hunt" after Flack's arrest.

    "I'm tired of the lies and abuse aimed at my girlfriend. This is not a witch hunt, this is someone's life," he wrote on Instagram.

    Flack, who was on bail, entered a "not guilty" plea when she appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in December. She later released a statement on Instagram.

    She thanked her followers for their continued support, adding: "This kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot ... for one person to take on their own. ... I’m a human being at the end of the day, and I’m not going to be silenced when I have a story to tell and a life to keep going with."

    Several Love Island stars and other public figures have paid tribute to the award-winning host and expressed shock at the news of her death.

    ITV2 described Flack as a "much-loved member of the Love Island team" and sent condolences to her friends and family.

    Laura Whitmore, who replaced Flack as the Love Island host, shared an old photo of the pair along with a message.

    I’m trying to find the words but I can’t 💔

    British comic and host Jonathan Ross said he had recently been in touch with Flack and expressed sadness at the news.

    I am very sad to hear that Caroline Flack is dead. I had been in touch with her recently and had hoped she was doing better. She was talented and smart and likeable and she will he missed. It’s awful.

    Journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy described Flack as "big hearted, funny and very likeable."

    My heart goes out to Caroline Flack and everyone who loved her. It’s just awful. In my brief experience of meeting her on #GBBO she was big hearted, funny and very likeable. What terrible times she must have gone through recently. A tragedy.

    Love Island alum Zara Holland shared how the former host had shown her support since her time on the show.

    Caroline Flack❤️ you supported me always, you were so kind to me & my family, I will never forget that. I spoke to you, and gave my support during the recent media intrusion. The media & trolls are killing people. Please THINK before you speak. 😢😢😢😢

    Many of the show's past contestants offered their condolences.

    Devastated to here the news about Caroline Flack. Caroline was nothing but kind to me and that’s how I will always remember her. Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Caroline’s friends and family. Heartbreaking 💔

    Rest in paradise Caroline Flack, you will be missed by many 😞 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

    I can’t believe what I’m reading! Caroline Flack was an absolute diamond, my hearts genuinely broken! One of the warmest funniest people I’ve ever met, My tears, thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this extremely difficult time! I’m lost for words R.I.P ❤️

    So sad to hear about Caroline ❤️ Im in shock

    My heart hurts for Caroline Flack. She did not deserve this. I have no words. Rest in peace. 😞❤️

    Don’t even know what to say. Just in shock, we love you Caroline.

    Flack, born in north London, first found TV fame in 2002 on the sketch show Bo' Selecta. She became a household name when she cohosted the 8th series of The X Factor in 2011.

    That same year, the presenter was the subject of several tabloid headlines over her relationship with One Direction band member Harry Styles and the 14-year age gap between them.

    In a 2019 interview with You magazine, Flack addressed her reputation as a so-called cougar and unapologetically claimed the label.

    She said: "If ‘cougar’ is supposed to be some kind of insult, I’m taking control of that and turning it into a badge of honour. I’m Caroline Louise Flack and I’m Queen of the Cougars."

    Ade Onibada is a junior reporter at BuzzFeed and is based in London.

    Contact Ade Onibada at ade.onibada@buzzfeed.com.

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