Former contestants on ITV’s hit reality show Love Island mourned the loss of Caroline Flack on social media after the presenter’s death.
The TV presenter took her own life at her flat in east London at the age of 40.
Flack stepped down from presenting Love Island after she was alleged to have assaulted her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27, at her then flat in Islington, north London, in December.
Series five Love Island finalist Molly-Mae Hague led the tributes, sharing a photo of herself with Flack on Instagram.
“I’m utterly shocked and heartbroken,” she wrote. “Caroline you were such a special woman. Your huge smile will stay with me forever… Rest in peace”.
Series three star Chris Hughes described Flack as an “amazing person” and criticised the press for their treatment of her.
“Words can’t sum this up. So sad. Another amazing person taking (sic) from this cruel world,” he tweeted.
“When will people and and press release (sic) celebrities are humans, with the same feelings everyone else has. Can’t believe to imagine the pain. God bless Caroline and her family. Rest tight”.
Words canât sum this up. So sad. Another amazing person taking from this cruel world. When will people and and press release celebrities are humans, with the same feelings everyone else has. Canât believe to imagine the pain. God bless Caroline and her family. Rest tight 😢 💔— Chris Hughes (@chrishughes_22) February 15, 2020
Kady McDermott, who featured heavily in series two of the show, paid tribute to the presenter’s kindness.
“Devastated to here (sic) the news about Caroline Flack,” she posted. “Caroline was nothing but kind to me and that’s how I will always remember her.
“Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Caroline’s friends and family. Heartbreaking”.
Devastated to here the news about Caroline Flack. Caroline was nothing but kind to me and thatâs how I will always remember her. Saddens me so much when people think the only way out is death. My prayers and thoughts go out to Carolineâs friends and family. Heartbreaking 💔— Kady Mcdermott (@kadymcdermottx) February 15, 2020
Among the tributes, former contestants on the show called for a change in the way the media operates.
Series two contestant Zara Holland tweeted: “The media & trolls are killing people. Please THINK before you speak.”
Caroline Flackâ¤ï¸ you supported me always, you were so kind to me & my family, I will never forget that. I spoke to you, and gave my support during the recent media intrusion. The media & trolls are killing people. Please THINK before you speak. 😢😢😢😢— Zara Holland (@zaraholland11) February 15, 2020
Olivia Buckland and Malin Andersson from series two paid their respects as well, while Amber Davies of series three tweeted “My heart is actually broken”.
Donât even know what to say. Just in shock, we love you Caroline.— Olivia Bowen (@OliviaDBuck) February 15, 2020
My heart hurts for Caroline Flack. She did not deserve this. I have no words. Rest in peace. 😞â¤ï¸— Malin Andersson (@MissMalinSara) February 15, 2020
My heart is actually broken— Amber Davies (@Amber_Davies7) February 15, 2020
An ITV spokeswoman said: “Everybody at Love Island and ITV is shocked and saddened by this desperately sad news.
“Caroline was a much loved member of the Love Island team and our sincere thoughts and condolences are with her family and friends.”
Maura Higgins, who appeared in the 2019 series, posted: “Heartbreaking news,” adding a note reading: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”