Dawn O’Porter Cried In Cupboards For Months After Caroline Flack’s Death. The 43-year-old writer hid her grief after losing her good friend, the ex ‘Love Island’ host – who took her own life in February 2020 aged 40 – from her and her husband Chris O’Dowd’s two young sons, Art, seven, and Valentine, five, by weeping in her wardrobe when she was housebound due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
She told the ‘Spinning Plates’ podcast: “[My children] were so young at the time, only five and two, she died on the 15th of February, just before the pandemic got its claws into us all.
“Which is just so weird because I just blurred the whole thing together now I think.
“I got COVID on the way back to LA from her funeral on the Friday, and then the world shut down on the Monday. It’s just this weird period of grief, not being able to leave the house and still being in floods of tears for six hours a day.
“With two kids at home, I cried in cupboards. I just didn’t want them to see.
“They were going through enough, school had just been shut down, my five-year-old is being forced to do some weird thing on his computer which he didn’t know what was going on.”
Dawn O’Porter Cried In Cupboards For Months After Caroline Flack’s Death. Dawn didn’t want to dump her grief “on top of them as well” with everything else that was happening in the world.
She said: “Trump’s voice was blaring through the radio, everyone’s going to die, ‘Oh my god we’re all dying!’ And I was like, ‘What the kids are about to go through is so, whatever, it’s happening, I’m not going to put my grief on top of them as well.’
“So I dealt with it quite privately in a little bungalow that we were living in at the time. And somehow realised the importance, I didn’t have a very big one but I had a walk-in wardrobe. A mum must always have one so she can always go there and cry.”
The ‘Cat Lady’ author revealed she got the tragic news of Caroline’s passing “about an hour before it broke on Twitter” and is “eternally grateful” she learned about it before the rest of the world did.
Dawn said: “In terms of the day itself, I got a call from my friend Josie at around 7.30 in the morning, about an hour before it broke on Twitter.
“I am just eternally grateful that I heard it from her rather than if I had woken up late that morning and saw it on the internet, that’s just terrifying.
“Chris was in the living room with the kids, and I just texted him to say, ‘Something really awful has happened, can you put the TV on and just come to me.’
And I can’t imagine what he was faced with when he came into the room. I was just howling.”