Many were surprised to see Styles at the awards show for a number of reasons — this past weekend has been particularly rough for him. The singer made headlines on Saturday after reportedly being robbed at knifepoint while walking the streets of London. Thankfully, Styles wasn't injured, and the Metropolitan Police reported that they have launched a full investigation into the robbery to find out more about the assailant.
In addition to the robbery, Styles was likely thrown off by the shocking news about the death of Caroline Flack, television presenter and long time host of popular dating show Love Island. Flack was romantically involved with Styles while he and his One Direction bandmates were competing on The X Factor in 2010. Fifteen years his senior, Flack's relationship with Styles didn't last long because of the overwhelming negative public attention.
Styles has not yet publicly commented on Flack's death, but at today's 2020 Brit Awards, he appeared to be paying tribute to his late ex. The singer pinned a simple black ribbon onto the lapel of his suit, with many identifying the ribbon as a symbol of mourning. During his performance, Styles delivered a heartfelt rendition of "Falling," a ballad from his latest album Fine Line. Many fans felt that the song choice, along with Styles' ribbon, was a subtle but moving salute to Flack.
The Love Island host was found in her east London apartment, and her family's lawyer confirmed that her death was by suicide. Many fans of the late presenter attributed the downward spiral in her mental health to the swarm of negative social media conversation that followed her December 2019 arrest for assault. Flack was vocal about wanting to defend herself against the criticism, and in the days after her death, her supporters have rallied to create Caroline's Law; this pending piece of legislature would criminalize online bullying if passed.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
This post has been updated.