Caroline Flack‘s friend Bradley Simmonds has opened up about his regret of not being ‘there for her’ more ahead of her death.
The presenter was found dead at her home on February 15 2020 after taking her own life, a day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019.
And personal trainer Bradley detailed that he still feels tormented about having stopped their training sessions due to a work commitment, as he remarked: ‘Even now I feel I could have been there for her.’
Remorse: Caroline Flack’s friend Bradley Simmonds has opened up about his regret of not being ‘there for her’ more ahead of her death (pictured together in May 2019)
Bradley and Caroline’s other close pals including Olly Murs and Louise Redknapp are set to honour the late star with a trek, called Climb For Caroline, to raise money for The Samaritans.
And speaking to The Mirror ahead of the expedition on Saturday, Bradley opened up on his friendship with the star and his guilt over not seeing her more in the months prior to her death.
He said: ‘Even now I feel I could have been there for her, got her training again – all these things go through my mind.’
Bradley went on to detail the close bond they formed as he trained her five times a week, saying how Caroline was in a ‘great place’ month mentally and physically.
Tragic: The presenter was found dead at her home on February 15 2020 after taking her own life, a day after hearing she would stand trial for allegedly attacking her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December 2019 (pictured November 2019)
He said: ‘She was hilarious, we had such a good connection and friendship. She got in incredible shape and her mental health was a lot better. We would go out, eat well at restaurants, I helped her with her nutrition and she was in a great place.’
The fitness trainer added that ‘what happened’ to the star was a ‘massive shock’ which he found ‘really tough to swallow’.
He went on to share his remorse at having stopped their training sessions so he could film a documentary, stating he wished he hadn’t have made it.
So sad: Personal trainer Bradley detailed that he still feels tormented about having stopped their training sessions due to a work commitment, as he remarked: ‘Even now I feel I could have been there for her’
Friendship: Bradley went on to detail the close bond they formed as he trained her five times a week, saying how Caroline was in a ‘great place’ month mentally and physically’
Bradley explained: ‘I referred her to a friend and, unfortunately, she didn’t maintain that consistency – she liked training with me. I can’t blame myself but I wished that I didn’t do that documentary.’
Bradley’s words come as he and several of Caroline’s pals are set to trek 12 hours each day to tackle the iconic mountains across the Lake District.
Under the banner Climb For Caroline, the group will take on the iconic mountains across the Lake District with Caroline in their hearts and the knowledge that the money raised will help others.
Sorrow: ‘I referred her to a friend and, unfortunately, she didn’t maintain that consistency – she liked training with me. I can’t blame myself but I wished that I didn’t do that documentary’ (Caroline pictured November 2019)
Participants include Mollie Grosberg, Olly, Lou Teasdale, Bradley, and Nana Acheampong.
Speaking about the cause, Bradley said: ‘I was Caroline’s personal trainer and good friend. I was devastated at the loss and still am.
‘I know how much exercise helped Caroline with her mental health so I wanted to create a challenge where her family and friends can come together and do something powerful in her memory.
Touching: Caroline is set to be honoured by her close pals Bradley and Olly Murs (pictured with the presenter) with a trek to raise money for The Samaritans
‘Hopefully this challenge will raise awareness for others to seek support whilst also raising money for Samaritans.’
Olly also shared his involvement with fans on Instagram, writing: ‘Hi guys, I’ll be taking part in #Climb4Caroline in memory of Cazza this weekend.
‘A few of us will be trekking 24 peaks in 24 hours to help raise awareness and hopefully help raise vital funds for leading suicide prevention charity @samaritanscharity. If you’d like to support click on the link in my bio!’
Challenging: The group will trek 12 hours each day to tackle the iconic mountains across the Lake District, after the presenter tragically took her own life last year aged 40
Touching: Speaking about the trek, Bradley said he is ‘still devastated’ by the loss of his close friend Caroline
On Climb For Caroline, the Love Island host’s family said: ‘Thank you to everyone taking part and to those at home who are supporting us.
‘Good luck and thank you for taking the time to raise vital funds and awareness for Samaritans.’
Sarah Ball, Head of Fundraising at Samaritans added: ‘We are extremely grateful to Bradley for choosing to raise vital funds for Samaritans, which will help us be there at any time of day or night to support anyone who is struggling to cope.
‘Suicide is complex and every single death by suicide is a tragedy that devastates families, friends and communities. We wish Bradley and Caroline’s friends and family the best of luck on the hills with their fundraising challenge.’
Moving: Caroline was found dead at her home on February 15 2020 after taking her own life (pictured in January 2019)
Caroline was found dead on February 15, aged 40, the day after hearing the Crown Prosecution Service would go ahead with a trial for allegedly attacking her model and former tennis player boyfriend Lewis in December 2019.
Back in August, coroner Mary Hassell gave a verdict of suicide, saying: ‘I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death. She hanged herself.
‘I find the reason for her taking her life was she now knew she was being prosecuted for certainty, and she knew she would face the media, press, publicity – it would all come down upon her. To me, that’s it in essence.’
For help call Samaritans for free on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
Tragedy: Back in August, coroner Mary Hassell gave a verdict of suicide, saying: ‘I am entirely satisfied she intended to cause her own death. She hanged herself’
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