Caroline Flack’s mum Christine blasts social media firms after daughter’s death

Caroline Flack ’s mother Christine has said social media companies fail to protect people from bullies’ abuse.

The Love Island presenter took her own life at the age of 40 last year.

Ahead of TV documentary on her life and death, mum Christine said: “When I was young, if you were bullied at school you could get away from it.

“You can’t get away from it now because it follows you home, it follows you on your phone.”

She said of social media companies: “It is not that there’s a lack of money. They don’t protect anyone.”

Christine also criticised Lorraine Kelly and Graham Norton for making “hurtful” jokes after Caroline lost her presenting jobs.

Caroline Flack with her mum Christine Flack
Caroline’s mum Christine has slammed social media companies for failing to protect people from bullies’ abuse

She opened up about the hurt her daughter felt after being axed from the jobs she adored, drawing attention that jokes made at the time that she found incredibly difficult.

Back in 2015, Caroline and Olly Murs took over from Dermot O’Leary as the main presenters of the hit ITV show – however, the pair were subjected to intense scrutiny from Twitter with comments about their presenting styles.

Dermot’s return was confirmed just days before the final aired.

“After the first two, three shows, we got it from all angles,” Olly, who also appears in the documentary, explains. “‘This show’s good but it’s missing something, it’s missing Dermot.’ And all of a sudden you’re beaten up again. It was a constant for 10 weeks.”

Caroline Flack
Caroline tragically took her own life at the age of 40 last year

Caroline, says her former agent Polly, couldn’t tear herself away from reading the worst of the social media comments despite her team trying to “wean her off” it.

“The abuse that she was getting, it was awful. It was awful,” Olly says. “They hurt her every day, they did affect her.”

Recalling a joke Graham Norton made at the BAFTAs, Christine says that it “really hurt” Caroline.

Graham had said: “Dermot is back on the X Factor, well done Dermot! I’m not saying the writing was on the wall for Caroline Flack, but you could get better odds of Anne Boleynn returning for the second series at Wolf Hall.”

“That just really, really hurt her,” says Christine. “You thought, ‘Oh, that’s going to make her feel so, so bad. That’s when you were again worried about her’.”

Caroline Flack's mother Christine
Caroline’s mother has spoken out since her daughter’s death

She went on: “She’d text me in the middle of the night and one night I got in my car to drive to London and halfway there she’d say, ‘Oh no, it’s alright now!’ But I don’t know what made it alright.

“But she just used to brush it off then. And what always got her off out of it was going to work or having to do something.

“And then the next day, things might seem better, But you just never really knew.”

Dermot O’Leary, Olly Murs and Caroline’s twin Jody also feature in Caroline Flack: Her Life And Death, on Wednesday, Channel 4, at 9pm.

* Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]

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