Warning: This article contains details that may disturb some readers. Helplines are listed at the bottom of the article.
England rugby star Danny Cipriani has revealed he tried to buy a gun to kill himself, in an emotional video posted to Instagram after the death of his ex-girlfriend Caroline Flack.
British TV presenter Flack, 40, was found dead at her home in London last weekend after taking her own life.
Cipriani, who has played 16 tests for England, dated the former Love Island host until May 2019, said they were still in regular contact and he missed a call from her on the day that she killed herself.
He was unable to take the call as he was preparing for a rugby match between Gloucester and Exeter.
"I told her everything about me because I felt safe with her," said Cipriani in the 18-minute video. "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."
He added that she had been dealing with negative media attention "for 20 years" and that she messaged him to say she "had to plead guilty". Flack was awaiting trial for alleged assault on her boyfriend.
The 32-year-old then discussed his own severe depression, which he said led to several failed attempts to buy a gun to take his own life.
"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."
Explaining his reasons for posting the video, he added: "I'm saying these things out loud so people understand it's OK to be vulnerable and you can take it any way that you choose, and that is also OK.
"But be kind - not to me, I don't need that."
Cipriani revealed he spoke to his teammates this week about his troubles and Flack's death, and their support has been overwhelming.
At the end of the video, Cipriani thanks people for "being kind" to Flack's family and friends.
"Continue being kind," he said. "Don't make it take for an artist to die before you buy his painting. If it's great, buy it."
Cipriani's club Gloucester are planning on using their next home match against Sale Sharks on February 28 to help promote mental health awareness, by donating £5 (NZ$10) from every ticket sold to the local Samaritans.
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email email@example.com or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584