Byline Investigates have today revealed that The Sun on Sunday published an article in November 2018 which reported a possible suicide attempt by Caroline Flack.
Complaints-handler IPSO did nothing.
Subsequently, and in the knowledge that Ms Flack may have struggled with her mental health, The Sun on Sunday and other newspapers continued with coverage which intruded on Ms Flack’s life and victimised the television presenter.
Commenting, Hacked Off Director Kyle Taylor said,
“The Sun on Sunday knew that Caroline Flack may have been in a vulnerable place, yet it pursued her with relentlessly intrusive coverage regardless.
“There is a pattern of behaviour here that shows no signs of abating and is having detrimental effects on people’s lives. From Gareth Thomas to Ben Stokes – Meghan Markle to Layla Moran and now Caroline Flack – there is zero evidence to suggest the newspapers have cleaned up their act. The public deserves a free and accountable press or else we’ll be having this same conversation again sooner than anyone would like. Enough is enough.”
Victim liaison officer Rose Hayden added,
“IPSO has serious questions to answer about why it failed to act over the Sun on Sunday’s article of November 2018 which reported a possible suicide attempt. There is no public interest in reporting such a sensitive and personal matter.
“IPSO must be held accountable for the way the Sun and other newspapers subsequently pursued Ms Flack. A complaints-handler with a backbone would have dealt with the 2018 article and subsequent coverage very differently.
“Had an independent regulator existed the cruel and distressing coverage Caroline Flack endured would at the very least have been properly sanctioned and remedied. Instead, the press acted with impunity because they knew IPSO wouldn’t lift a finger.”