Danny Cipriani reveals he tried to buy gun to kill himself, as he speaks out in wake of ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack's death

Gareth Davies

England rugby star Danny Cipriani has revealed he tried to buy a gun to kill himself as he released a video to speak out on mental health in the wake of his ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack's death. 

In an emotional 18-minute speech posted on his Instagram account, the 32-year-old opened up about his own struggles in an attempt to force change in society, he says. 

Cipriani said he had been talking to Flack regularly for the past three to four months, and that she had tried to call him and text him on Friday night in the hours before she killed herself.

He said she messaged him to say she "had to plead guilty". Flack was awaiting trial for alleged assault on her boyfriend. 

Cipriani - who regularly has to stop in the video to hold back tears - said that Flack had sent him voice notes a fortnight ago and that he would publish them because "people need to hear them".

He was unable to take the call or respond to the text because he was playing for Gloucester against Exeter in the Gallagher Premiership. 

The pair had dated historically, and Cipriani said he shared everything with Flack "because she made me feel safe". 

He said "it was ultimately embarrassment and shame that killed her", which is why he decided to speak out. 

In the video, Cipriani said when he was 22 he was going through "severe depression", and it was at this point he said he wanted to kill himself. 

He also revealed that he had used painkillers and "meaningless sex" in the past as a way to combat the "love and affection" he says he never got. 

Danny Cipriani message in full

The rugby star opens his video by saying: "Someone that I loved as a person really dearly and someone I was very close to has decided to take her own life as everyone knows. 

"I've been speaking to her for the past three or four months and we've always been in contact since we were together, since we weren't. It's always been a loving friendship. 

"I was so vulnerable with her when in my moments when we first me and I told her everything about me, because I felt safe with her. 

"I told her all the things I was embarrassed and shameful about. 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 that she knew I had the strength to do this." 

The moment Danny Cipriani tried to buy a gun to kill himself

Cipriani recalled the phone ringing at 9pm on a Saturday when he was 22. 

It was his agent saying that The Sun newspaper had received messages from a man the rugby star had arranged to buy a gun from. 

He said:  "I met a guy who was at a nightclub, he ended up being around. 

"I knew he was a bad man, was in the scene, trying to make his way in whatever he was doing.  

"I decided at this point it was time for me to take my own life and I tried to buy a gun from him. And I pulled out. Then I tried to buy it again, but I pulled out. 

"This went on for two months. 

"I couldn't do it. Because I had some fight in me."

The man sold the messages to the tabloid, Cipriani said.

"The Sun knew everything," he said. 

"So they phoned my agent and they told [the agent] what was happening. My psychiatrist had to get involved and speak and show the minutes, not the specifics, but how long I'd been seeing him for - which was nine months.

"And they weren't legally allowed to print it. But that was the start. That was something that I went through and I have had to carry that."

Caroline Flack text Danny Cipriani saying she was going to plead guilty

Flack stepped down from presenting the current winter series of Love Island after an alleged assault on boyfriend Lewis Burton.

The TV star pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and was released on bail.

But she was ordered to stop having any contact with Burton ahead of a trial which had been due to begin in March.

In his video message, Danny Cipriani suggested she was going to change her plea. 

He said: "She text me on Friday and said she had to plead guilty, and I had a game."

The pair had been in regular contact for the past three or four months, he said, and he went on to say in his video message: "She was kind, she was loving.

"If I showed you the voice notes she sent me when she was broken, she'd move on and she'd spend the last 20 seconds asking how I am.

"And how's rugby, and how's this...and what I'm trying to say is, we all have vulnerable moments and moments of weakness. Talk. I've heard that said before 100 times, but I truly understand it now."

Cipriani also said he would publish voice notes that Flack had sent him a fortnight ago, and talked of the anguish of messages he has sent her that she will never read.

He said: "I had to say this, and I miss her. I've written her messages that she's never going to read because her phone's not on.

"Well, it is. But she's not here. But I've had to voice things to her.

"And I'm going to play the messages at some point about 15 days ago - because people need to hear it."

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