Former Love Island star Montana Brown has shared her fears that Caroline Flack’s suicide might not be the last one linked to the ITV dating show.
The reality star appeared on the 2017 series and has been open about the effect its fame had on her mental health, however Montana, 24, was also close with co-Islander Mike Thalassitis, who tragically died by suicide in 2019.
Now she’s spoken about her heartbreak at the loss of former show host Caroline, who took her own life on 15 February.
Caroline, 40, had been the host of the dating show from 2015-19, before she stepped down after being charged with assault following an incident with boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Since Caroline’s death, there has been a social media campaign with the tag #BeKind encouraging everyone, including the wider media, to spread more love.
Saying she feels ‘helpless’ knowing that ‘people are suffering’, Montana shared her hopes that this ‘doesn’t happen to anyone else’, however, as she told Mail Online: ‘But I don’t think Caroline will be the last person to do this if I’m honest and that is what’s really sad.’
Sophie Gradon, who appeared on the 2016 series, also died by suicide in 2018.
Montana continued: ‘For me, and I think I can speak for a lot of Love Islanders, you feel like “Oh my God, who else is unhappy?” I need to speak to everyone. You feel this pressure because you don’t want your friends to be unhappy, what can I do?
‘It’s helplessness because you know people are suffering and that’s a categorical fact. Every single person that I’m friends with from Love Island suffers from anxiety or depression or something to do with mental health. It’s actually terrifying.’
However Montana did not blame the show for the mental health struggles of contestants and former stars of the popular series, instead believing stars of the series find it hard to cope with the sudden onslaught of trolls on social media and threats of violence in their inbox.
‘People are so judgmental. You have to live your mistakes publicly every time you make a mistake,’ she said. ‘It’s not just you and your friends and your parents but you’re dealing with a barrage of trolls telling you to kill yourself and telling you you’re worthless and no one likes you, that they’re going to throw acid in your face and you’re like what?’
She added: ‘You get insanely paranoid about things. It’s heart-breaking.’
Speaking of her own crippling anxiety, Montana said stepping away from social media helped her mind after a horrendous bout of anxiety left her withdrawing from not only her social circle, but everyday activities she normally loved.
An inquest last week heard that Caroline took her own life, with her twin sister Jody identifying her body.
The inquest will resume in August.
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