Harry Styles’ older ex-girlfriend recently made a shocking confession. According to 35-year-old TV presenter Caroline Flack, she didn’t just date the pop prince — she also hooked up with a real prince. According to Caroline, she enjoyed a short fling with Prince Harry before she and Harry Styles made headlines by dating during One Direction’s early days.
Flack tells a tale of two Harrys in her new autobiography, Storm In A C Cup. Most One Direction fans know that The X Factor host dated Harry Styles back in 2011 — Harry was just 17 at the time, so this caused quite a bit of controversy. In her autobiography, Caroline Flack reveals that some of the criticism she faced was very hurtful. She says that angry One Direction fans would shout at her on the street, and some of the threats she received were frightening and disturbing. One of Harry Styles’ jealous fans warned Caroline that she would put an end to the relationship by shooting the TV presenter, and a fan magazine even joined the anti-Caroline campaign by creating a voodoo doll in her image. It included pins pointing to certain body parts.
The Sun shared a few passages from Storm In A C Cup, including Caroline Flack’s account of how she and Harry Styles ended up hooking up and breaking up. According to Caroline, it all started with an “amusing” little crush.
“I already knew that he had a crush on me, he’d made it pretty obvious. He’d said it in magazines and he’d said it to friends,” Caroline wrote.
An Xtra Factor producer introduced Caroline to Harry the year after he and the other members of One Direction made it to the finals on The X Factor. Caroline was flattered by the attention Harry showered her with during their time together, and she explains that she never felt like she was 14 years older than her teen boyfriend — working in the entertainment industry has made her feel like a perpetual 18-year-old.
“It was flattering and I found it amusing. He was a kind of cheeky man/boy with a captivating smile who got what he wanted.”
Harry Styles and his “cougar” had a “bit of fun” together while their relationship was under wraps, but things took a dark turn once the cat was out of the bag. People on the street started shouting at Caroline, and she was branded a “pervert” and “pedophile.” However, while the age difference between Caroline and Harry was extreme to enough to make many people uncomfortable, she wasn’t breaking any laws by hooking up with the teen — the age of consent in England is 16.
According to the Daily Mail, Caroline once tried to defend her relationship with Harry Styles by pointing out that she didn’t kill anyone — she simply dated a younger guy. However, upset One Direction fans didn’t care that the relationship was legally allowed, and tabloids had a field day after Harry was spotted leaving Caroline’s house. This was the beginning of the end of the controversial couple, and Caroline says that the fallout from the relationship left her feeling a bit insecure about her looks and her age. It became a whole lot harder for her to feel like a carefree teenager after her relationship with Harry scored her an unusual job offer from Cougarlife.com. She was 32 when she was asked to become the face of the dating site for older women seeking younger men, but women have to be 36 or older to set up an account on the site.
“I had never really had any doubts or insecurities about myself. Then I actually started questioning who I really was. Am I fat? Am I old? Am I ugly?”
Caroline says that she and Harry Styles were never really in love, and it sounds like her relationship with Prince Harry also wasn’t very serious. She and the prince met through a mutual friend during a group outing, and she says that she became “Prince Harry’s bit of rough.”
Prince Harry and Caroline Flack immediately broke things off after their fling became tabloid fodder, but Caroline isn’t bitter about being dumped. In fact, she still has a great deal of respect for her royal lover.
“The thing about Prince Harry is that he has no choice. He’s not some egotistical rock star who wants loads of attention. That is his life. He didn’t ask for it, he just has to deal with it. I think he deals with it very well and he and his brother do great stuff for our country.”
However, Prince Harry doesn’t seem to think quite as highly of himself. In the video below, the royal apologizes for not being Harry Styles.
Are you surprised that Caroline Flack hooked up with Prince Harry before she started dating Harry Styles?
[Image credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images]