Caroline Flack’s Strictly pal Kristina Rihanoff says she feels ‘such guilt’ nearly a year after her death

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Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff has opened up on the loss of her pal Caroline Flack ahead of the one year anniversary of her tragic death.

Kristina, who met the late TV star when she took part in the dancing competition series back in 2014, explained that she feels guilty over not having "reached out" to Caroline prior to her death on 15 February 2020.

“I should have reached out…I feel such guilt," she told Mirror Online. The 43 year old continued: "During Strictly she had a lot of difficulties, coming out of a relationship and so on.

"She had a few wobbles on the tour and didn’t want to perform, so we knew there were a lot of things going on with her emotional state.

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“But she said then, ‘I’m in a better place, I’m focusing on new things’ and I was saying to her, ‘I really am happy for you.’”

Speaking about a picture of them together while on set of the popular show, she said: "I still have that picture and she seems alright then. But we’re all very good at covering our sorrows.”

Speaking about Caroline's death at the age of 40, Kristina said she feels guilty that she had not done more to help the star, explaining: "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.”

Kristina isn't the only celebrity who has spoken out about Caroline ahead of the anniversary as her close friend Dawn O'Porter recently shared a heartbreaking tribute to her.

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Author Dawn, 42, shared a throwback snap from the first time she met Caroline on the set of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here Now show, which Caroline hosted alongside Joe Swash for two series.

The snap sees Caroline, who’s mum recently said her fortune will be going to various charities, smiling as she sits in front of Dawn, Joe Swash and Gemma Cairney on the set of the I’m A Celeb spin off show, set in the Australian jungle.

As she posted the nostalgic photo on her Instagram page, Dawn made a heartbreaking tribute to Caroline and looked back on the beginning of their friendship.

Dawn wrote in the caption: “I just went down a you tube hole to find anything from the week I met Caroline, and here it is. [sic]

Celebrity deaths 2020: Caroline Flack and Dame Barbara Windsor among stars who have sadly died this year

“Australia, on a TV set in a jungle somewhere. It was one of the most fun weeks of my life.

“I took the job as a free ticket to get to Oz to see my best friend who’d just moved to Melbourne. I didn’t know I’d meet @gemagain and Caroline and gain two more of the best friends you could ever dream of.”

Looking back on her trip to Down Under, Dawn continued: “We laughed ALL week, told each other EVERYTHING and bonded for life. The absolute greatest of times.”

She continued: “This week is really hard. Agony, in fact. I can’t shake it.

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“Monday marks a year since Caroline died. That horrible day that changed so many lives forever. I’m dreading it.

“But there were 14600 + days of Caroline’s excellent life that say way more about her than what happened on that day.

“Through the heartbreak, I remain grateful for the happiest, most fun and naughtiest memories. There are so many. Probably too many.”

Dawn ended her post with: “I’ll never ever stop missing her. My brilliant, gorgeous and funniest friend” followed by a red heart emoji.

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