Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie
Danny Cipriani has spoken about his ex-girlfriend, Caroline Flack, in an emotional video posted on social media, in which he also said he will release a voice note recorded by her.
The former Love Island host was found dead at her east London home on Saturday, having taken her own life at the age of 40.
England rugby star Cipriani dated the TV star in 2019, with the pair announcing their split around May.
In an emotional 18-minute speech posted on his Instagram account, the 32-year-old opened up about his own struggles with mental health.
The Gloucester player said he planned to release a voice note sent to him by Flack.
He said: “I have written her messages she is not going to read because her phone is not on. Well, it is but she is not here. But I have had to voice things to her.
“And I am going to play the message at some point, the voice note she left about 15 days ago because people need to hear it.
“But right now this is me. You can make jokes. I don’t care because it is not going to affect me. She has given me that. Because she has given me that, I am sharing it with you.”
Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after an alleged assault on her boyfriend, Lewis Burton.
She pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and was released on bail.
But she was ordered to stop having any contact with Mr Burton ahead of a trial, which had been due to begin in March.
Cipriani said that, despite her situation, Flack spent the last part of her message to him asking about his life and sport.
He continued: “I can see clearly now and I hate the fact it has taken someone so kind and so beautiful and had just as many faults as me and you…
“But never malicious. She was kind – she was loving.
“If I play you the voice note she sent me when she was broken and she was moved on … She spent the last 20 seconds asking how I am, and ‘How’s rugby?’ and ‘How’s this?’
“What I am trying to say is that we all have vulnerable moments and moments of weakness.”
Cipriani also said he and Flack had spoken regularly in the past three to four months, and that she had tried to call him and text him on Friday in the hours before she killed herself.
He said of their relationship: “I told her all the things I was embarrassed and shameful about.
“And she made me feel OK, and ultimately it was embarrassment and shame that killed her.
“So I’m telling everyone now what my most embarrassing and shameful moments are because I know she knew I had the strength to do this – and we had spoken about how things had to change.”
The sportsman also addressed how he had struggled with his mixed heritage and skin colour.
He said he had “always been made to feel like you’re not white enough or you’re not black enough” and that he had “always been different”.
The video also saw him open up about his father leaving when he was a boy.
Cipriani said he had subsequently caused himself “pain” through “meaningless sex or painkillers or drinking alcohol”.
Explaining his reasons for posting the video, he added: “I’m saying these things out loud so people understand it’s OK to be vulnerable and you can take it any way that you choose, and that is also OK.
“But be kind – not to me, I don’t need that.”
Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org