Caroline Flack’s celebrity status likely contributed to police charging her with domestic abuse, says mother


Caroline Flack’s mother has told Sky News that her daughter’s celebrity status is likely to have contributed towards the Metropolitan Police’s decision to charge the TV presenter with domestic abuse.

Chris Flack has called for the Met Police to give its side of the story in the lead-up to her daughter’s death.

It comes as the force announced it would reinvestigate the circumstances leading up to the decision to charge the TV presenter with assaulting her boyfriend.

The 40-year-old former Love Island host died in February 2020, with a coroner saying she took her own life after discovering she was definitely going to be prosecuted.

In an interview with Sky News, Flack’s mother said there had been “no written rationale” for why the Met Police pushed for her daughter to be charged.

She told The UK Tonight With Sarah-Jane Mee: “The IOPC [Independent Office for Police Conduct] have found all these things that were wrong.”

The CPS had recommended Flack only get a caution but this was overturned after the Met appealed.

More on Caroline Flack

She was ultimately charged with assault by beating over the incident, which involved her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019.

Flack’s mother said: “This wasn’t domestic violence. This was an accident. But she was portrayed in the court and in the newspapers as a domestic abuser, and that’s what hurts. That’s what I want got rid of – because she wasn’t.”

She said her daughter’s celebrity status likely contributed to the police’s decision, saying she had an email from the coroner’s court saying the force treated her daughter differently.

“They could tell by the way the police were acting that they were treating her differently. And that’s not on. She shouldn’t be treated better, but she shouldn’t be treated worse.”

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Flack reinvestigation ‘very strange’

Asked about her daughter’s version of events, Ms Flack said: “I think she was just going along with it. She wasn’t aware of any rights. She just didn’t know. It was just horrendous to be locked up in a cell.

“She was having to be checked on every half an hour because of her mental health. She could have been sent home.”

She added: “It wasn’t right what they did that night, and I don’t think that would have happened to many people.”

The Met Police has said it has referred a complaint from Flack’s family to the IOPC on 7 March.

Ms Flack said the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Riley “won’t talk to me” and she had requested meetings with him several times.

She added: “I’ve also been told that all new practices were being put across the police force countrywide because of what happened to Carrie. That was meant to make me feel better – it actually doesn’t, because I don’t think anything will change.”

The Metropolitan Police said it is making “further enquiries” because “new witness evidence may be available” about officers’ actions in appealing the CPS decision.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) previously found there was no misconduct in the case, prompting another complaint from Flack’s family to the IOPC.

It also didn’t find any misconduct by the Met, but ordered the force to apologise for not recording its reason for appealing against the caution.

Flack’s mother rejected the apology at the time.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK

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