Love Island presenter Caroline Flack broke down in tears in a court dock today as she denied beating up her boyfriend after a 5am bust-up at their flat.
Flack, 40, pleaded not guilty to common assault after the incident at the apartment she shares with her partner Lewis Burton in Islington, North London.
Flack, wearing high black leather boots and a black coat, arrived at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court this morning with a woman, shortly after Mr Burton, who was wearing a winter parka coat.
She broke down into floods of tears after she entered the court this morning, and could be heard sobbing as a friend supported her. Flack also cried again when she sat in the dock later on.
Arriving in the courtroom, she walked past the packed public gallery accompanied by a police officer and a member of her legal team, and wiped her eyes as she sat down before confirming her details.
The court gallery was full of observers and supporters, including Mr Burton. Flack appeared before District Judge Julia Newton and spoke only to confirm her date of birth and address. She gave her nationality as British.
Caroline Flack arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London today
Flack, 40, was charged with common assault after a 5am bust-up at her flat earlier this month
Paul Morris, defending, said Mr Burton was not a victim of assault and that he did not support the prosecution. He said: ‘Mr Burton has never supported this prosecution. He is not the victim, as he would say, he was a witness.’
But Katie Weiss, prosecuting, replied: ‘Mr Burton is a victim, he received significant injury to his head.’ Ms Weiss added that the Crown are pursuing the case. Flack sat in the dock with her hands to her mouth.
Wrapped up in a black coat and scarf, Flack appeared distressed throughout the brief hearing. The court went silent as District Judge Newton looked through the court papers.
Flack broke down in tears as she sat in the dock of the court. Holding her hand in front of her eyes, she sniffed. The judge gave Flack’s legal team until January 20 next year to provide further evidence to the court.
Mr Morris continued: ‘He would not suggest that the injuries are significant in the way the prosecution submit.’ Ms Weiss said the trial would use body-worn footage from the police officers at the scene and a 999 call.
Flack’s solicitor made an application to have a bail condition banning her from talking to her boyfriend lifted. Mr Morris said: ‘They had been in a relationship all of this year and he appears in court today to support her and they remain a couple.
A police officer helps Flack get into court today as she arrived with an unknown woman (right)
Flack, wearing high black leather boots and a black coat, arrives at the court in London today
Flack arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in London today charged with assault
‘She wants to spend time with her partner. If the conditions were lifted there would be no concerns. It’s not an irrelevant point, it’s Christmas, it’s New Year, she’s suffered enough.’
Flack began to cry into her hand as Mr Morris spoke. ‘She is in the public eye – this case has been scrutinised, she will conduct herself properly,’ Mr Morris added.
It comes after Flack and Mr Burton unfollowed each other on Instagram – and the presenter said she did not know ‘where to go’ or ‘who to trust’ in an emotional Instagram post yesterday.
She wrote: ‘This is the worst time of my life. I don’t know where to go to. Where to look. Who to trust. Or who I even am.’
Police were called to the 40-year-old’s flat in the early hours of December 12 after reports a man had been assaulted. Flack was charged the following day.
Model and ex-tennis player Mr Burton has defended Flack on Instagram describing her as ‘loyal and kind’, and criticised the ‘witch hunt’ following the incident.
Flack arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court to face the assault charge this morning
Flack gets out of the back of a car after arriving at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court today
Mr Burton arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court in North London this morning
Flack was charged with common assault at the flat she shares with her partner Mr Burton (pictured) in Islington, North London
Mr Burton is photographed as he arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court this morning
The couple, who became an item this summer, reportedly remain together and are going to work through this together.
Following the incident Flack stepped down from the upcoming winter series of Love Island in South Africa.
On Friday ITV confirmed that TV presenter Laura Whitmore will replace Flack as the face of the popular ITV2 programme which sees young singletons find love in the sun.
Flack voiced her support for Miss Whitmore, who is the girlfriend of the show’s narrator Iain Stirling, and told how she is going through a ‘really rough time’.
The 34-year-old also paid tribute to Flack, who she said ‘pushed’ her to accept the role.
Caroline Flack and Lewis Burton leave Sexy Fish restaurant in London’s Mayfair on October 16
Flack is pictured on December 16 (left) and with Lewis Burton in London on October 16 (right)
Flack no longer has Mr Burton as a contact on Instagram
Mr Burton also no longer has Flack as a contact on Instagram
Miss Flack said she did not know ‘where to go’ or ‘who to trust’ in an Instagram post yesterday
She said: ‘I want to thank ITV for trusting me at the helm of this huge show. I wish it was in better circumstances. Caroline is a brilliant host and also a friend.
Laura Whitmore, pictured on December 2, was announced as the new Love Island host
‘She has been very kind to me and strongly pushed me for this role. I’ve watched her host every series and I know I have big boots to fill. I will try and do it justice.’
Flack, who has presented the series since 2015, wrote on Instagram that she is ‘glad it’s Laura’.
She added: ‘Thank you for your continuous messages of support. It’s a really rough time… but I’m doing all I can to keep my head above water and sort this all out.’
ITV has not confirmed whether Flack will return for the summer series next year.
Miss Whitmore has already replaced Flack in a job before, when she took over I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! NOW! – the programme’s follow on show – in 2011.
In 2018 she hosted ITV’s first attempt at a winter version of Love Island, Survival Of The Fittest, also in South Africa, which included eventual Love Island winner Dani Dyer among its contestants.
It was dropped after one series amid poor ratings. Miss Whitmore has dated Stirling since 2017. Love Island begins on ITV2 on January 12.
Caroline Flack’s rise from spin-off shows to Love Island
Caroline Flack has become synonymous with ITV2 reality series Love Island in recent years.
The TV presenter is often seen entering the dating show’s villa in slow motion shots to deliver the often bad news to the contestants, while the slogan ‘The Flack Is Back’ is one of the programme’s best-known catchphrases.
Along with hosting Love Island’s weekly spin-off show Aftersun, Flack, 40, has hosted all five series of the popular programme, one of the most-watched reality shows in the UK since it launched in 2015.
In 2018, Flack was present as Love Island won its first TV Bafta for best reality and constructed factual show.
Prior to becoming a household name, Flack had presenting jobs on E4 Music and on the CBBC channel before becoming the co-host of action game show Gladiators with Ian Wright in 2009 on Sky One.
In 2009, she became the presenter of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! alongside Joe Swash and Russell Kane.
She left the I’m A Celebrity companion show in 2011 to host another spin-off programme, The Xtra Factor for The X Factor, along with former contestant Olly Murs.
After leaving The Xtra Factor in 2014, Flack and Murs were promoted to host the main ITV show, replacing Dermot O’Leary.
However, the pair only hosted the main show for one year after being widely panned by critics and the viewers at home.
The following year Flack said she had learnt to ignore her detractors, telling The Sun: ‘Not everyone is going to like you so you have to filter it.’
Aside from her presenting jobs, Flack has appeared on the small screen in Strictly Come Dancing and on the celebrity version of The Great British Bake Off.
She took part in Strictly in 2014 and was partnered with Pasha Kovalev.
The pair won the series, fending off competition from Frankie Bridge and Simon Webbe.
Four years later, she talked about the difficulties she faced after lifting the Glitterball Trophy, telling The Sun that she felt as though her body was ‘covered’ in ‘clingfilm’ the morning after her dancefloor triumph, adding that she felt ‘ridiculous’ feeling so low.
She added: ‘I couldn’t get up and just couldn’t pick myself up at all that next year.’
In March 2019, Flack took part in an episode of Channel 4’s charity show The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up To Cancer alongside other celebrities including journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy, actor Greg Wise and boxer Nicola Adams.
Asked about the technical challenge and whether she was good at coping with pressure, she said: ‘I am good under pressure actually, because that’s the kind of job I do, there’s always pressure, like timings and stuff like that are quite important.
‘I actually work better under pressure, I need it to stop from being lazy, so that’s good!’
Flack made her West End stage debut playing Roxie Hart in Chicago in 2018 having previously appeared on stage in a touring version of Crazy For You.
In 2015, she released an autobiography called Storm In A C Cup.
Aside from her career, Flack’s love life has made headlines over the years thanks to romances with the likes of Harry Styles and Prince Harry.
In 2011, she was linked to One Direction star Styles, who had been on The X Factor the previous year, when he was 17 and she was 31.
In her autobiography, Flack went into detail about how she met Prince Harry on a night out in 2009 through mutual friend Natalie Pinkham after she had split with a boyfriend.
She said they ‘spent the evening chatting and laughing’, but ‘once the story got out, that was it. We had to stop seeing each other.
‘I was no longer Caroline Flack, TV presenter, I was Caroline Flack, Prince Harry’s bit of rough.’
Flack became engaged to former Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother star Andrew Brady in April last year, but the pair split a few months later.
At the time of being charged with assault following a domestic incident earlier this month, Flack was in a relationship with former tennis player Lewis Burton.
Burton, 27, was reportedly involved in the incident and he recently spoke out about Flack, saying she has become the subject of a ‘witch hunt’ following her arrest.