Caroline Flack’s mother has said she was upset by how Jeremy Clarkson was allowed to “say what he wants” about the Duchess of Sussex, who could be “fragile”. The former Top Gear presenter, 62, wrote an article in The Sun in which he said he dreamed of Meghan being paraded through British towns and publicly shamed, adding that “everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”.
Christine Flack, the mother of the former Love Island presenter who took her own life at the age of 40, speaking to LBC broadcaster Shelagh Fogarty, criticised the Clarkson article, saying: “We shouldn’t be allowed to just say awful things.”
“It’s just upset me so much that Jeremy Clarkson has been allowed to not only think that, but put it in print about somebody who we don’t know whether she’s fragile or not,” she said. “I’ve got to kind of explain it, my daughter was Caroline Flack and what was printed in the papers, so much of it was untrue… It’s all too easy just to apologise.”
On Monday, Clarkson said he was “horrified to have caused so much hurt” following backlash over comments he made in the newspaper column about how he “hated” Meghan. Clarkson’s article followed the recent broadcast of Harry and Meghan’s explosive six-part Netflix documentary, in which the couple made allegations of mistreatment by the royal family.
Flack said: “I’m too nervous and I can see that even though Meghan and Harry have got all that money, and they even said if they can’t win, how can anyone else win. They don’t know who they’re dealing with and someone like Jeremy Clarkson can just say what he wants but it gets printed, that’s the worst thing.”
She later added: “It’s incredible. Why write something so bad, we thought at least when Cari (Caroline) died at least this thing about being kind, it isn’t a joke, it’s a real thing, if you’re going to write something about someone, let it be nice. It fires up other people who aren’t nice. They get on the bandwagon don’t they. It’s dangerous.”
After Flack’s death in February 2020, a coroner ruled she took her own life after learning prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge over an incident involving her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.
Fogarty said: “I didn’t know Caroline directly but I knew friends of hers and I think often of her actually and what a bright star she was and when people are telling me only today ‘They’re only words, they’re only words, they’re only words’, words really made Caroline suffer sometimes.”
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) said it had received more than 6,000 complaints over the article – almost half the total number of complaints the media regulator received in 2021.
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