Caroline Flack is the latest reality TV star to have taken her own life | Ents & Arts News

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Caroline Flack is the third Love Island star to take her own life in recent years and her death will raise more questions about how vulnerable people cope with the pressure of publicity.

Flack, 40, hosted five seasons of the ITV series but her run ended after she was accused of assaulting her partner in December last year.

Caroline Flack attends the annual Global Gift Gala London at Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel on October 17, 2019 in London, England
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Caroline Flack was found dead on Saturday at her flat in London
Mike Thalassitis
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Mike Thalassitis killed himself two years after appearing on Love Island

Mike Thalassitis, 26, killed himself in Enfield, north London, in March last year, two years after appearing on Love Island. He was also a contestant on Celebs Go Dating and a former semi-professional footballer for Stevenage.

Mr Thalassitis, whose occupation was given at his inquest as ‘celebrity’, was found by a jogger in a recreation ground near where he lived.

Police said a black notebook had been found nearby which had a “combination of a diary and letters and positive thoughts” along with “a number of notes addressed to his family”.

Mr Thalassitis split from The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna the previous year and his death came two months after his best friend Danny Cutts passed away. It was also reported that his grandmother, who he lived with and cared for, died just two days before his death.

The inquest heard there was cocaine, alcohol, paracetamol and antidepressants in his system when he died.

 Sophie Gradon
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Sophie Gradon was 32 when she killed herself
A picture posted by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong on Facebook confirming Sophie Gradon's death
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A picture posted by boyfriend Aaron Armstrong on Facebook confirming Sophie Gradon’s death

Sophie Gradon, 32, killed herself in June 2018, having appeared on Love Island the year before.

Her boyfriend Aaron Armstrong, 25, killed himself three weeks after her death.

Miss Gradon and Mr Armstrong had exchanged loving messages the previous night but he became worried about her lack of contact that day and went to her home in Ponteland, Northumberland.

Detective Sergeant Neill Jobling told an inquest Miss Gradon had mental health issues, including low self-esteem and anxiety, and had been prescribed medication for it which she was still taking when she died.

Her death prompted a warning from a coroner in Tyneside about mixing alcohol and cocaine, which were both in her system when she died.

Mr Armstrong also died after mixing alcohol and cocaine.

The deaths of Miss Gradon and Mr Thalassitis put pressure on ITV to examine how it cares for participants on the show.

Last year, ahead of the fifth series of Love Island, ITV shared its duty of care processes, where it promised to offer “enhanced psychological support, more detailed conversations with potential Islanders regarding the impact of participation on the show, bespoke training for all Islanders on social media and financial management and a proactive aftercare package”.

Steve Dymond - Jeremy Kyle
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Steve Dymond had gone on the show to fix his relationship

Last May, another reality TV participant Steve Dymond also took his own life.

Construction worker Mr Dymond, 63, died a week after reportedly failing a lie detector test after going on The Jeremy Kyle Show to try to save his relationship.

The inquest into Mr Dymond’s death heard he had been “concerned about the repercussions of the show”.

The ITV show was brought to an end after 14 years following the death of Mr Dymond, with Kyle saying he was “utterly devastated”.

MPs launched an inquiry into reality TV and watchdog Ofcom said it will look at the use of lie detector tests in the future.

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



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