It’s been one year since UK Love Island host Caroline Flack felt she couldn’t take any more of the media attacks on her. One year since she took her own life, at her home, at the age of 40.
One year since the British tabloids quietly deleted some of the nastiest stories they’d written about her. One year since her fans flooded social media with her plea: “Be kind”. One year since a petition was started for Caroline’s Law, to make bullying and harassment by the media a criminal offence.
And yet we have learned nothing.
Yesterday, on the anniversary of Caroline’s death, Meghan Markle announced her pregnancy, with a gorgeous black-and-white photo of herself and Prince Harry. It’s an emotional time for the couple, who suffered a miscarriage last year.
Like Caroline, Meghan has been open about the impact that constant media attacks have had on her mental health, describing it as “almost unsurvivable”.
So how did the Daily Star cover Meghan’s pregnancy announcement? With the front-page headline "Publicity-shy woman tells 7.69bn people: 'I'm pregnant'".
Meanwhile, in the Daily Mail, Piers Morgan called Meghan and Harry “a right royal pair of shameless hypocrites”, claiming they didn’t have any real desire for privacy.
“In fact, it's quite clear that the pair of them crave attention and publicity like ravenous jackals gorging on the carcass of a freshly slain gazelle,” he added.
In the comments section, thousands of readers, taking their cue from Morgan, joined the pile-on, heaping insults on Meghan and Harry, calling them a “toxic couple”, “low IQ narcissists” and a “vomit-inducing pair of hypocrites”.