Phillip Schofield, former presenter of ITV’s This Morning, has given his first interviews since resigning from the network and being dropped by his talent agency YMU. Schofield admitted to an affair with a younger male colleague, but denied grooming him. He said he felt « utterly broken and ashamed » and that his « career is over ». Schofield also revealed that he had suicidal thoughts and likened his situation to that of Caroline Flack before her death. He denied reports that the man received a financial settlement or signed a non-disclosure agreement to stay silent about the affair. Schofield also denied that the man was regularly driven by taxis between his London home and the This Morning studios.
In an interview with The Sun, Schofield said his « greatest apology » over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover. He also told the BBC that he hoped the upcoming external review announced by Dame Carolyn McCall on Wednesday would be « thorough ». Schofield said he understood the affair could be an abuse of power but « that wasn’t how it felt at the time ». He also felt homophobia was a factor in people who disapproved of their relationship, and that « if it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal ». Schofield’s wife Stephanie was « very, very angry » after he confessed to her about his affair with a younger ITV colleague and said he had previously denied rumours about the affair to her when she had asked.
Schofield denied reports that there is a toxic working environment on This Morning’s set, saying: « I’m not rude on the studio floor, I don’t bully people. » The interviews come after ITV announced it had launched an external review to establish the facts around the relationship between presenter Schofield and his This Morning colleague. The affair took place before Schofield publicly came out as gay, and while he was still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe. Schofield, who married his wife Stephanie in 1993, came out as gay on This Morning in 2020.
Keywords: Phillip Schofield, ITV, This Morning, affair, younger male colleague, grooming, suicidal thoughts, homophobia, toxic work environment.
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