One day after TV presenter Caroline Flack was tragically found dead in her east London flat at the age of 40, her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, broke his silence, admitting he is in “so much pain”. The professional tennis player posted a tribute to the former Love Island and X-Factor host on his Instagram on Feb. 16, writing, “My heart is broken we had something so special. I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much I know you felt safe with me you always said I don’t think about anything else when I am with you and I was not allowed to be there this time I kept asking and asking,” Lewis then continued, “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.”
Caroline’s family confirmed her death in a statement to the Press Association over the weekend. “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 family’s statement read. A lawyer for her family later said she had taken her own life. The tragic news came one month before Caroline was due in court on assault charges. She was arrested in December and was charged with attacking her boyfriend Lewis with a lamp at their home in North London. The court heard that Burton had “received significant injury to his head”. Flack was released on bail on the condition that she did not contact Burton until the trial.
Her death has prompted criticism of her treatment by the British media and by strangers on social media. She is now being mourned by friends and admirers around the world, along with her Love Island family. “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news. Caroline was a much-loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends,” the Love Island team wrote on Instagram on Feb. 15. The show later revealed it would not broadcast Sunday night’s episode out of respect for Flack’s family. “Love Island will return tomorrow night which will include a tribute to Caroline who will be forever in our hearts.”
Before she began dating Lewis in 2019, Caroline dated British hunks Prince Harry and Harry Styles. In her 2015 autobiography, Storm in a C Cup, Caroline recalled her short-lived romance with Prince Harry in 2009 and admitted that they never got too serious because of the press. “To meet a prince is so unlikely, it would be weird not to acknowledge it,” she wrote. “However, once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other. I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter, I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough.”
Meanwhile, Caroline’s relationship with Harry, which started in 2011, was the talk of the town due to their 14-year age difference. She was 31 and he was just 17 when their romance took place, right around the time Harry was hitting it big with his band One Direction. “I already knew that he had a crush on me, he’s made it pretty obvious as he’s said it in magazines and said it to friends,” she wrote in her autobiography. “I’ve never felt I was much older than Harry. I still feel 18 and I probably act that way half the time. Although it was just a bit of fun we decided it was best to keep it to ourselves as we were both working for Simon Cowell.” Our hearts go out to all those affected by Caroline’s tragic passing.