TV presenter Philip Schofield, who recently stepped down from hosting This Morning alongside Holly Willoughby, has admitted to having an "unwise but not illegal" relationship with a much younger colleague whilst he was still married and prior to publicly coming out as gay.
In a new statement issued to the press, Schofield confessed he had lied to the Daily Mail and his legal team about the relationship with the younger ITV employee, and said he was choosing to speak out on it now as the unnamed person was facing scrutiny.
The statement also adds that he is "so, very very sorry" to Stephanie Lowe for being unfaithful during their marriage. The pair have been separated since 2020 but are not divorced.
Schofield began his statement with a series of other apologies too, to both the Daily Mail (who wanted to write a story about the relationship in question) and his lawyer. "I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning," he said. "I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning."
Continuing on, Schofield was keen to stress that "contrary to speculation" he first met the anonymous man when he was a teenager (after being asked to help him build a career in TV) but the relationship did not blossom until later on. "That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over. When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody 'forced' me out," he added. "Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me."
Further on in the statement, the TV host also confessed that he had lied to his employers at ITV, to colleagues, friends, his agents, his family and the public.
"I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me," he concluded, before asking for privacy for his family. "I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it."
ITV do not appear to have commented publicly on the new revelations, but Schofield's former talent agency issued a statement to the Daily Mail confirming they have dropped him as a client. "Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU's whole business, defining everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.
"This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield. These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him. As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect."
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