Strictly: Caroline Flack and Pasha dance to ‘Angels’ in 2014
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Former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff, 43, has opened up about the past year without her friend. Caroline Flack, 40, was found dead in her home in Stoke Newington on 15 February 2020 after taking her own life.
I should have reached out…I feel such guilt
Speaking about the death of her close friend, the Russian dancer revealed that she wished she had done more to help Caroline.
She said: “I should have reached out…I feel such guilt.”
Kristina and Caroline sparked up a friendship on the Strictly Come Dancing tour in 2015, following Caroline’s victory with Pasha Kovalev on the show.
But Kristina has revealed that the Love Island presenter struggled during the tour.
She recalled: “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.”
But the presenter managed to convince Kristina that she was feeling better in herself.
Kristina revealed: “But she [Caroline] 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 in an exclusive interview with The Mirror, the Strictly professional admitted that she now thinks Caroline was just covering up her feelings.
Referring to a picture she took of the pair of them on tour, she said: “I still have that picture and she seems alright then.
“But we’re all very good at covering our sorrows.”
Despite Caroline confiding in her friend that she was in “a better place”, Kristina wished she had supported her more.
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She said: “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.
Kristina also revealed that the “guilt” she felt about not reaching out to her friend stayed with her for a while.
She explained: “It didn’t leave my head for a long time.”
The dancer was paired with rugby player Ben Cohen in the eleventh series of the dance competition.
At the time, Ben was married to the mother of his two daughters, Abby Cohen, before they split and he got together with his dance partner.
In 2016 Ben and Kristina welcomed their daughter Milena and three years later the couple opened their yoga studio, Soo Yoga, but it was forced to make the move to online classes during the pandemic.
Kristine revealed: “We had not had any income for 10 months.
“It is really difficult but we have stayed very focused on how we are going to help our members and clients, we have kept going with the online classes as much as we can.”
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch
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