Former Love Island host Caroline, 40 – who was due in court next month on charges of assaulting her boyfriend – was found in her new flat today.
Tonight, friends and family of the presenter were devastated by her untimely death – which came just a day after her lover Lewis Burton, publicly made contact with her despite a court ban.
A family statement read: “We can confirm that our Caroline passed away today on the 15th February, according to The Sun.
“We would ask that the press both respect the privacy of the family at this difficult time.”
Model Lewis, 27 denied the prosecution – with defiant Caroline determined to prove her innocence after denying assault by beating.
Those close to Caroline are said to be furious that the CPS had continued to prosecute Caroline despite Lewis making clear he did not want them to and there being no serious injury.
They are angry that the CPS had refused to listen to warnings that Caroline was vulnerable.
Lewis had declared his love for Caroline on Instagram yesterday as they spent Valentine’s Day apart.
He posted a sweet snap of the pair of them with the caption: “Happy valentines [red love heart] Love you [kissing emoji]”.
Axed Love Island presenter Caroline’s own last Instagram post also came a day before her death – and showed her giving her pet dog Ruby a kiss.
The poignant snap showed Caroline with freshly-dyed blonde hair puckering up to the french bulldog in the post that was ‘liked’ by 122,000 people.
Ex-tennis player Lewis was told the terrible news of her death while on a skiing holiday with pals – and was tonight travelling back to the UK.
Caroline’s death has left her parents Christine and Ian, brother Paul and sisters Elizabeth and Jody heartbroken.
Her mother, Christine, publicly supported her – and hugged and kissed her daughter outside court – when she appeared on December 23.
Caroline – who started her career as an actress and is an ex of Prince Harry – was forced to stand down from her position as Love Island host after her arrest for allegedly attacking Lewis in north London on December 12.
She always insisted she was innocent and vowed to clear her name.
Friend Laura Whitmore took over the role for the winter version of the show, currently airing on ITV2.
Caroline began her career as an actress appearing in Big Brother’s Big Mouth and shows aired on E4 Music and on the CBBC channel.
Caroline hosted Gladiators and also presented I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here NOW!
In 2011, Caroline presented The Xtra Factor before later hosting the main show in 2015 to replace Dermot O’Leary.
After he returned to the show, Caroline took on her biggest role as presenter of Love Island the same year.
Along with as hosting Love Island’s weekly spin-off show Aftersun, she hosted all five series of the popular program – one of the most-watched reality shows in the UK since it launched in 2015.
As well as presenting on TV, Caroline was also crowned winner of the 12th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2014 with Pasha Kovalev as her partner.
She earned the first perfect score of the series for her salsa dance in the semi-finals – followed by three further perfect scores for the first time in the show’s history.
This article first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.