Sun kissed tanned skin, beach blond hair and a big smile on her face - that the way the public new Caroline Flack. Over the last years, she presented some of the biggest TV shows in Britain. She made us laugh, she made us cry, and we loved her for being the way she was. Caroline Flack didn't pretend to be perfect and spoke openly about her mental health issues. We, as members of the ordinary public, realised that more money in your bank account does not mean you are happier. It was easy to identify with her personality, and we could relate to her problems. Caroline felt real, not fake.
While everyone expected to see her again on the screen presenting the new love island series, no one would have thought that one evening before Christmas 2019 would change everything.
No one will ever know the details of what happened on that evening apart from Caroline and her boyfriend. What we know is that her boyfriend called the police, which resulted in Caroline's arrest.
Rumours emerged Caroline had injured her boyfriend and herself after discovering text messages on his phone, which let her believe he acted unfaithfully.
Caroline was back on the news and front pages of newspapers, but this time not the way we expected.
The same media which made her famous, now couldn't get enough to rip her apart.
We witnessed how the media analysed every detail of Caroline's life. Nothing remained private, and it seemed the general public and the press felt to have a right to know what has happened.
Journalists tracked her down, tried to get as many pieces of private information as possible.
On the day of her court hearing, Caroline did plead
She had the same right as every one of us, accused of breaking the law, to argue guilty or not guilty. And to be treated as innocent until proven otherwise.
Caroline was entitled to have the same rights as everyone else in theory. Still, in reality, there was little choice for her.
She could have avoided her trial in march in admitting her being guilty already in December.
But, this would have also ended her career and everything she had archived in her life.
She could have gone through with the court trial in march, fully aware of the fact that to defend herself; she would need to make every detail of her private life public.
Her relationship problems, mental health problems, financial status, emotional break downs, on-camera, Caroline's privacy wouldn't have existent anymore.
Even if the court would have found her '' not guilty'' there wouldn't have been a way back.
The image damage from potentially disturbing details of her private life would have destroyed her image beyond repair.
For the last two month, Caroline lived her life analysed by the public more than ever before, and no movement was left uncommented.
The greed of the public for more gossip drove Caroline in a state of isolation. In her house, fully aware of the situation that no matter what she does, nothing will ever be the same again.
The tragic death of Caroline Flack is not a question of being guilty or not guilty. It is not the question of what has happened on that particular night where one phone call changed her life forever.
It is a wake-up call for the way our society judges people without evidence.
We, the readers, the public, the fans, we are not the court. We are not the jury, and we have no right to say who is guilty or not guilty as we will never know all the details.
But we have a responsibility. The responsibility that everyone will is treated as being innocent until it is proven otherwise. With every click, and every like on another gossip article, we take away a fundamental human right of a fair trial.
Caroline did not get the respect and fairness every person in our society deserves to get. Still, we can hope that we learned and act wiser in the future.
Rest in peace, Caroline Flack.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash