The management team of British TV presenter Caroline Flack, who committed suicide on Saturday, has accused prosecutors of pursuing a “show trial” over domestic abuse claims against the “vulnerable” star.
“In recent months Caroline had been under huge pressure because of an ongoing case and potential trial which has been well reported,” said Francis Ridley, of Money Talent Management, which looked after the 40-year-old host.
“The Crown Prosecution Service should look at themselves today and how they pursued a show trial that was not only without merit but not in the public interest. And ultimately resulted in significant distress to Caroline,” added the statement.
Flack, best known for hosting hit reality show “Love Island”, was due to go on trial in March for allegedly hitting boyfriend Lewis Burton over the head with a lamp while he was asleep at their flat in December, prosecutors told a court last month.
But he has since denied the claims, saying she “did not hit me with a lamp” in an Instagram message posted after the court hearing.
Burton posted a tribute on Instagram on Sunday, saying his “heart is broken”.
“I am so lost for words I am in so much pain I miss you so much,” he wrote.
“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.“
Flack was found dead at her north London flat on Saturday, her family said, the third star connected with the hit reality show “Love Island” to have died.
“We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February,” her family said in a statement.
A lawyer for her family later confirmed media reports saying she had taken her own life.
The future of “Love Island” has been thrown into doubt by a string of tragedies.
Contestants Mike Thalassitis and Sophie Graydon previously took their own lives, having appeared on the dating programme.
Her death also shines a spotlight on the tabloid press which splashed Flack over the front pages following her arrest in December.
An online petition calling for an inquiry into the press in the wake of her death, and also for the “maltreatment” of Prince Harry and wife Meghan, had attracted over 30,000 signatures by early Sunday.
The role social media might have played in her death is also the source of fierce debate, with Flack being on the receiving end of abuse since her arrest.
“I have no doubt that social media has a huge role to play in this,” said fellow presenter David Bull. “I wish people would think more carefully about what they tweet.”