Caroline Flack quits Love Island after assault charge
TV presenter Caroline Flack has announced she has quit Love Island after she was charged with assault.
In a message on Instagram, the 40-year-old said the ITV reality series has “been my world for the last five years” and hailed it as “the best show on telly”.
But she added: “In order not to detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for series 6.”
It comes after Flack was arrested and charged with assault by beating following “a private domestic incident” reportedly involving her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
In her statement on Instagram, Flack said there had been a “significant number of media reports and allegations in regards to my personal life”.
She added: “While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to co-operating with the appropriate authorities and I can’t comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.”
Flack said she had “never experienced such kindness and love in my whole life,” adding: “Not just from friends and family who are always the greatest… but also from total strangers who send messages to me offering help and understanding… please know that I see them.
“And my boyfriend Lewis… I love you.”
Following Flack’s announcement, ITV said it had a “long standing relationship with Caroline and we understand and accept her decision”.
A spokesman added: “We will remain in contact with her over the coming months about future series of Love Island.”
It is understood ITV has left the door open for Flack to return Love Island in the future.
Flack was arrested in Islington, north London, after an incident at around 5.25am on Thursday after reports of a man being assaulted.
Police did not name the man but they said he was not seriously injured.
Her boyfriend Burton later spoke out in defence of Flack, saying she has become the subject of a “witch hunt” following her arrest.
In a statement on Instagram the 27-year-old model and tennis player said: “Caroline is the most lovely girl. Loyal and kind. She doesn’t deserve any of this.”
Flack, who previously presented The Xtra Factor and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, will appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 23 December.
Winter Love Island – the first series of the programme not to be held over the summer – begins on ITV2 on 12 January.