Flack’s family released the following statement confirming the tragic news. “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.” She is survived by her parents, Christine and Ian, brother Paul, and sisters Elizabeth and Jody.
In December, Flack stepped down from her hosting job of the popular U.K. reality series Love Island after she was charged with assault following an altercation with boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, whom she’d been dating since August 2019. The fight allegedly took place at her North London flat on December 13, but Burton never sought to prosecute after charges were filed.
On Sunday, Burton broke his silence following the devastating news. He wrote on Instagram, “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.”
“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.”
While rumors swirled that the former tennis star and the former X-Factor host had called it quits, Burton publicly supported Flack throughout her court battle, and they remained together as a couple. As reported by the BBC, Burton called ongoing legal issues “a witch hunt” and described Flack as “the most lovely girl. Loyal and kind. She doesn’t deserve any of this.”
On February 1, Burton directly responded to a media request on his Instagram stories, which was documented by Metro UK. He wrote, “I’m struggling with journalists/photographers outside mine and my families house every and messages like this. Caroline is my girlfriend. Anything else you read is untrue.”
Here’s what you need to know about Lewis Burton:
1. Burton Is A Professional Model
The 27-year-old former tennis pro has a successful modeling career. He is represented by Select Model Management in London. Born on March 23, 1992, the London native started dating Flack after being introduced by a mutual friend after she broke-up with rugby player Danny Cipriani.
Flack was famous for dating much younger men. In 2009, she had a brief fling with Prince Harry and in 2011, was romantically linked to former One Direction band member Harry Styles. Their relationship received a ton of press as she was 14 years his senior.
Burton defended Flack against he ex-fiancé Andrew Brady, who shared on Twitter following the news of their domestic dispute on December 14, “Sad that I’m not more surprised by the news.”
According to The Daily Mail, Burton told Brady to “stay out of his business” and he received a text saying “I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.” Burton also said he was never asked to sign any NDA agreements as Brady alleged.
2. Burton Defied Court Orders To Contact Flack On Valentine’s Day
District Judge Newton banned Flackfrom contacting Burton before returning to court on March 4, according to The Daily Mail, but on Valentine’s Day, Lewis posted a sweet message to his on-again love on social media. On his since-deleted Instagram stories, he shared a photo of the couple with the caption, “Love you” and the kissing face emoji.
As reported by Hello magazine, Flack appeared in court two days before Christmas to enter a not guilty plea in response to the charges.
According to The Sun, Lewis, an ex-tennis player heard the news of Flack’s death while on a skiing trip with friends and returned to London as quickly as possible.
3. Flack Reportedly Smashed A Lamp On Burton’s Head During The Alleged Fight In December
According to The Daily Mail, Burton dialed 999 at 5:25 a.m. local time and told the operator, “She tried to kill me.” In court, Flack was accused of hitting Burton over the head with a lamp while he was asleep. Flack was accused of allegedly attacking her boyfriend after seeing texts on his phone that made her believe Burton might’ve not been faithful.
While Flack was found to have lacerations on her left from smashing the lamp, Burton sustained a cut to his head. A spokesperson for the Met Police told The Independent at the time that he was taken to the hospital and treated by paramedics, but his injuries were not “serious.”
Burton never claimed to be a “victim,” in court, and they remained committed to another throughout the proceedings. A day after Flack’s hearing on December 23, she shared a post to her 2.3 million followers on Instagram saying that she’d be leaving social media for a bit.
She wrote, “Been advised not to go on social media … but I wanted to say happy Christmas to everyone who has been so incredibly kind to me this year….. this kind of scrutiny and speculation is a lot to take on 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… I’m taking some time out to get feeling better and learn some lessons from situations I’ve got myself into to… I have nothing but love to give and best wishes for everyone.”
4. Burton Threw Flack A Surprise 40th Birthday Party In November
As Flack celebrated turning the big 4-0 in November, Burton helped throw a surprise birthday part for his girlfriend. Flack shared the moment on Instagram with the caption, “Think I’ll keep you forever @mrlewisburton . Thank you all for the most incredible surprise.” The fancy fete took place at Bagatelle in London.
The day before, Flack shared a message online that she was actually excited for her big birthday. She wrote, “Jesus …Last day of my 30s …. and what a ride it’s been so far … feeling so utterly grateful for EVERYTHING in my life right now … and never felt quite so happy as I do today … can’t WAIT for this weekend … and 40 isn’t old … if you’re a tree.”
5. Burton Is Receiving Both Well-Wishes & Death Threats Online Following Flack’s Death
The news of Flack’s sudden death has caused a media storm on Twitter. Friends and loved ones are sharing tributes on Twitter while others are blaming the tabloids for running her name through the mud after assault charges were filed.
While some users online are sending thoughts and prayers to Burton during this time, others see him as a domestic violence victim.