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Love Island Host Dies at 40

by Gabriela Mendez

On Saturday, Feb. 15, Caroline Flack, host of the reality TV show Love Island, was found dead in her apartment in London at the age of 40. A few days later, on Tuesday, Feb. 18, it was confirmed through her autopsy by Coroner’s Sandra Polson that her death was ruled a suicide. 

“An autopsy was performed at Hackney Mortuary by Professor Micheal Shiff who gave a provisional cause of death as one by suspension by ligature,” stated Polson to PEOPLE

Flack was known as the host of the popular UK reality TV-show Love Island. A show that is about people who are coupled up in hopes of finding love, leaving the island with the grand prize of £50,000 ($64,774.95). This show has gained the attention of many and has risen in viewership with its new season being aired this month.  

Courtney Foth, a sophomore writing major, is one of the many people who have taken a liking to the show. 

“I’ve been watching Love Island since Noel Miller made parody Youtube videos off the Love Island game app,” Forth said. “I like watching it because it’s real people, it doesn’t require as much attention as an in-depth movie. I also love love and am fascinated at how string this emotion is. Everyone wants love- to be needed.” 

There have been many speculations made by the media and by others on social media on the reasons why Flack committed suicide. 

Many of these speculations being made are centered around the fact that she was awaiting trial for having been accused of allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in December of 2019 and was receiving a lot of negative articles about her geared towards that. 

Tabloids such as the Daily Star newspaper who branded her as “Caroline Smack,” and The Sun who published a Valentine’s Day card mocking her assault case. 

Faviola Baez, a sophomore majoring in Nursing at UT, is also a fan of the show and as many of the fans of the show were disgusted by how these news media attacked Flack with no remorse. 

“It saddened me when I heard the news of her death,” said Baez. “For she has faced a lot of scrutiny throughout her career and I feel the way the media attacked her on the alleged assault may have been her breaking point.”

The Sun quickly deleted previous negative articles on Flack after her death was announced and having met with fury by fans of Flack and the show. 

An online petition calling for a review into the media after Flack’s death has attracted more than 200,000 signatures and is being dubbed “Caroline’s Law” to be implemented.

“The likes of such a law to be implemented is very unlikely,” Baez said. “But I do agree that the media should take in count on how harshly they cover the people in relation to the news they’re reporting on. Because I find that maybe they forget that the people they report on have feelings too and that the influence their articles have on others could lead to more hate on that person.” 

The show Love Island has also been facing backlash for Flack’s death. Where Flack is the third person associated with the program to die by suicide. 

Yet, many fans of the show and even Flack’s friends have defended the show and that the problem should be more focused on the media. 

Laura Whitmore, Flack’s friend and replacement as Love Island host, said on her BBC radio show the day after Flack’s death that “Caroline loved to love. That’s all she wanted. Which is why a show like Love Island was important to her because the show is about finding love, friendship, and having a laugh. The problem wasn’t the show.”

Flack’s family released a statement to the U.K.’ s Press Association where they requested that “the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”

Gabriela Mendez can be reached at gabriela.mendez@spartans.ut.edu

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