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Caroline Flack’s pal Kristina Rihanoff says she ‘feels such guilt’… a year after tragic suicide

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Kristina Rihanoff has said she feels ‘such guilt’ about not reaching out to her late friend Caroline Flack, one year on from the TV star’s tragic suicide. 

The former Strictly Come Dancing pro, 43, became good pals with the Love Island host, 40, during the 2014 series of the hit BBC show and tour.

Reflecting on the loss of her friend as the first anniversary of her death approaches on February 15, Kristina has said she felt ‘really sad’ about not checking in.    

Tragic loss: Kristina Rihanoff has said she feels ‘such guilt’ about not reaching out to her late friend Caroline Flack, one year on from the TV star’s suicide (pictured together)

Kristina told The Mirror she feels ‘such guilt’, adding: ‘Maybe it wouldn’t make a difference, but looking back I think maybe I should have reached out and I felt really sad about it. It didn’t leave my head for a long time.’  

The dancer also spoke about how Caroline had a few ‘wobbles’ on their Strictly tour, but she thought things were getting better after the star said she was ‘focusing on new things.

Speaking about a treasured selfie she has with Caroline, Kristina said: ‘I still have that picture and she seems alright then. But we’re all very good at covering our sorrows.’

Regrets: The former Strictly pro, 43,  said she felt 'really sad' about not checking in with her friend and added that Caroline had a few 'wobbles' on the Strictly tour(pictured in 2019)

Regrets: The former Strictly pro, 43,  said she felt ‘really sad’ about not checking in with her friend and added that Caroline had a few ‘wobbles’ on the Strictly tour(pictured in 2019)

Kristina also candidly discussed her friend just two days after her death last February during an appearance on Good Morning Britain.

The mother-of-one recalled how the 40-year-old presenter had ‘a lot of insecurities’ behind her ‘beautiful smile’ that were not obvious to the public.  

She said: ‘During our work on the road there were many conversations and a couple of times she missed going on stage because she was battling inner conflict. 

‘We sat down and spoke and you could see she had a lot of insecurities, a lot of vulnerability, which I think wasn’t known to the public.

‘There should have been a life coach or someone who could have really helped.

Back then: Kristina and Caroline met while the Love Island host was doing Strictly (Kristina is pictured with Jason Donovan in 2015)

Back then: Kristina and Caroline met while the Love Island host was doing Strictly (Kristina is pictured with Jason Donovan in 2015)

Winners: Caroline won the dancing competition in 2014 with her professional partner Pasha Kovalev (pictured with the Glitterball Trophy)

Winners: Caroline won the dancing competition in 2014 with her professional partner Pasha Kovalev (pictured with the Glitterball Trophy)

‘It’s so sad to see she had no way out and she couldn’t see a way out. It’s heartbreaking for her family and for herself.’ 

The Love Island host took her own life at her north-east London home on February 15 aged 40 – weeks before the nation was plunged into the first COVID-19 lockdown. 

Caroline’s death was ruled a suicide in August 2020, with the coroner saying she had experienced ‘fluctuating ill health’ and was ‘distressed’ at the thought of facing a trial for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton. 

Caroline’s funeral took place on March 10 at Greenacres at Colney, near Norwich, a ceremonial park set in a 16-acre forest.   

Tragedy: Caroline took her own life at her north-east London home on February 15, aged 40

Tragedy: Caroline took her own life at her north-east London home on February 15, aged 40

Since her tragic death, several of Caroline’s pals have paid tribute to her and reflected on their friendships. 

Ahead of his Dancing On Ice debut last Sunday Matt Richardson has he felt a ‘pang of sadness’ that he can’t share the excitement his with late friend Caroline.

Matt, who presented ITV2’s the Xtra Factor with Caroline, told The Mirror the TV star would have been one of the first people he’d have called to share the news of him being called in for the ITV competiton. 

He said: ‘So I had a real pang of sadness that this wasn’t something I could talk to Caroline about and would have had, you know, a really good laugh about.  

Friends: Since her tragic death, several of Caroline's pals have paid tribute to her and reflected on their friendships. Matt Richardson recently details how he was 'sad' he couldn't laugh about his Dancing On Ice stint with the star (pictured together on The X Factor in 2013)

Friends: Since her tragic death, several of Caroline’s pals have paid tribute to her and reflected on their friendships. Matt Richardson recently details how he was ‘sad’ he couldn’t laugh about his Dancing On Ice stint with the star (pictured together on The X Factor in 2013)

‘She was phenomenal. She was more than just someone that helped me in my career. She helped me in everything.’ 

And Caroline’s close friend Natalie Pinkham recently revealed that she constantly dreamed about the star in the weeks following her death. 

The Sky Sports F1 presenter said in an interview on Louis Strong’s Headstrong podcast: ‘There was a point in the first lockdown that I really, really struggled. 

Addressing how she’s processing Caroline’s death as the first anniversary of her suicide looms, Natalie said: ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be OK about it. I think that it was a horrible shock.’ 

If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org 

Struggles: While Caroline's close friend Natalie Pinkham, left, also recently revealed that she constantly dreamed about the star in the weeks following her tragic death

Struggles: While Caroline’s close friend Natalie Pinkham, left, also recently revealed that she constantly dreamed about the star in the weeks following her tragic death 



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