Flack tragically took her own life aged 40 in February 2020. The 34-year-old TV presenter confessed seeing her friend’s life collapse under the pressure of fame had left her frightened.
Whitmore told Cosmopolitan UK magazine: "It'll never be okay and it'll never be right. It did scare me.
"She was so strong-willed and feisty and I remember thinking, 'God, I wish I could be as strong as her'. I felt like if people said things, it wouldn't bother her. But obviously it did because everyone is human.
"I don't want to speculate reasons because nobody will ever know. [But] it did frighten me."
She added: “I hope now that people have had an insight into what she had to deal with.”
Flack’s death followed continued media attention on her life and she faced a trial after being charged with assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, although he did not want the prosecution to go ahead.
Whitmore had taken her place as the host of ITV’s Love Island after Flack stepped down amid the public scrutiny on her personal life. The Irish presenter is dating Love Island’s narrator Iain Stirling, 32.
She said: "Obviously you're delighted that ITV trust you to do such a big show, but a friend of yours is also going through hell... Caroline had messaged me first to say, 'I hope you get it', which was really nice.
"You're like, 'Oh yay, I get to do this but, no, this isn't how I want to get to do it. It was a really weird way to get a job."
For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to Laura Whitmore talking to Kate Thornton about the perils of life in the spotlight on Yahoo’s White Wine Question Time podcast below.