Ex-Hollyoaks actress Stephanie Davis says Caroline Flack was receiving death threats before taking her own life aged just 40.
The former Love Island host was found dead at her flat in east London on Saturday.
Davis says she and Flack “understood each other so much” because she too had been on the receiving end of negative treatment on social media and in the press.
Davis told Sky News’ KayBurley@Breakfast: “[Caroline] was destroyed by it all. She had nowhere to turn, she was getting death threats. People online, bullying, that needs to stop. What’s happened to us all being kind humans, helping each other?
“Why are we all jumping on people? Why can’t we say ‘you are clearly struggling, you clearly need help with your mental health, let’s find you a way out, let’s make this better?’
“It’s not fair what the media has done, it’s really not fair.”
Davis said she too had tried to kill herself due to the “detrimental effect” of negative publicity, and been “down the road of that helpless feeling”.
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She also said she had reached out to Flack over the pressures she was under, describing the ex-Love Island presenter’s portrayal in the media as “a big bad villain”.
Davis is leading a petition for Caroline’s Law – a campaign calling for new and stricter laws to safeguard those in the public eye.
It has so far received hundreds of thousands of signatures.
A second petition calling for a stop to “relentless bullying” of anyone by the media “whether they are in the public eye or not” has also received over half-a-million signatures.
Davis explained how she would like Caroline’s Law to work: “I would want to stop information that there is no evidence for and therefore is false.
“Printing source quotes from anyone or an unreliable source, invading privacy and sharing private information that is detrimental to the celebrity’s mental health and those around them.
“Paparazzi taking and printing images without permission, releasing an individual’s private, medical or health-related information or their sexual orientation.
“Releasing articles about leaked explicit photos, videos and revenge porn.
“Stricter legal boundaries regarding unwanted trespassing near the property that the person may be residing or staying in.
“That is what we want to try and achieve.”
Davis added that she was “willing to fight this all the way”.
Ex-Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona has also added her voice to the debate over the pressures on Flack, telling Sky News: “It could have easily been me.”
She said that, like Flack, she’d been in the public eye from a young age and had struggled with her mental health.
The mother-of-five said: “I know how it feels to feel that low… When you lose all your contracts and everyone turns against you.”
Katona said that people posting nasty comments “don’t understand the impact it has on your mental health”.
Like Davis she said she would like to see tighter press controls, and added that social media had to take some responsibility too.
Katona said commentators “need to realise that the person they’re talking about is actually a human being”.
The comments echo Irish presenter Laura Whitmore’s recent attack on tabloids and trolls in her tribute to Flack.
Whitmore replaced Flack as the host of winter Love Island earlier this year.
Love Island is set to return to ITV2 on Monday night and will include a tribute to Flack, after being taken off air over the weekend.
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK
Source : Sky News