Keith Lemon hits out at fake Caroline Flack T-shirts being sold online

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
Shockwaves Nme Awards 2009, Brixton Academy, London, Britain - 25 Feb 2009, Keith Lemon And Caroline Flack (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Keith Lemon has taken action after it emerged fake copies of the charity T-shirt he made in tribute to Caroline Flack are being sold online.

The Celebrity Juice star designed a Be Kind T-shirt in memory of the Love Island presenter, who tragically took her own life earlier this month, to raise money for mental health support helpline The Samaritans.

But Lemon - the alter ego of comedian Leigh Francis - has warned fans on social media of fake websites selling copies of the Be Kind shirt.

He said in a video on Instagram: “Fanks [sic] so much to everyone that’s bought a T-Shirt for Be Kind, I think so far over 11,280 have been sold, so that’s amazing, raising a lot of money for Samaritans.

Read more: Caroline Flack's family release unpublished Instagram post she wrote before she died

“Unfortunately there’s a website called Teespring.com that has ripped off the design and has started selling them. Unless they’re going to give that money to Samaritans are helping out! They’ve taken my design and also that money that would’ve gone to Samaritans. Very disappointing.”

Loose Women presenter Stacey Solomon commented: “I bought one and @teespring you are disgraceful.”

Lemon later updated his fans that Teespring.com had taken down the fake T-Shirts but warned sites Teeranas.com and @teechip were now selling forgeries.

He added: “Not very nice. I give up!”

A spokesperson for Teespring said: “Teespring allows creators to independently upload designs and employs software to filter the 100k+ uploads submitted daily. As a user-generated platform, all designs are created by individuals and not directly by Teespring.

Teespring takes infringement very seriously. If we receive any complaint or allegation that a design or any resulting merchandise constitutes an unauthorised use of a third party’s rights, we will terminate the design accordingly. This includes charitable campaigns - we categorically do not support the promotion of or profiting from designs created for a charitable cause. This seller’s products have been removed, the account suspended and the seller has made no profit. Keith Lemon has thanked Teespring for the immediate removal, and as an act of support for the cause, Teespring has made a donation to The Samaritans.”

The comedian and TV presenter urged anyone who wanted to buy the shirt to use his official merchandise website KilClothes. All profits raised go to Samaritans.

Lemon, 46, said: “Like everyone I was absolutely shocked by the news of what happened to Caroline. All the recent events just seemed so unreal. I’d been friends with Caroline for many years, since before telly happened. In more recent times I’d not seen Caroline as much as I had years ago, but it was always like old times when I saw her. I did this t-shirt to spread Caroline’s own words #Bekind and to raise money for the Samaritans. Will miss you, Flack. Love to your family. Keith.”

Read more: 'Caroline’s Law' petition receives 700,000 signatures

Flack took her own life earlier this month aged just 40. She had been subjected to abuse on social media after being pleading not guilty to assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton.

Her family have released an Instagram post she wrote before she died, but never published.

Flack had written: “I've been pressing the snooze button on many stresses in my life – for my whole life. I've accepted shame and toxic opinions on my life for over 10 years and yet told myself it's all part of my job.”

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.