After years of speculation, Phillip Schofield has now admitted to having a relationship with a much younger man who worked as a runner on This Morning.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, the TV presenter – who stepped down from the daytime show last week – said their relationship was ‘more than a friendship’.
However, Phil, 61, insists it was ‘unwise but not illegal.’
In a statement provided to the outlet, he said the relationship occurred while Phil was still married wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe, the mother of his two daughters – Ruby and Molly – and before he came out as gay.
He also confessed that he lied about the relationship to his bosses and colleagues, resulting in him being dropped by his agent of 35 years.
The statement in full reads: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: 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. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship. 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. 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.’
He continues: ‘In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship. But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.
‘I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.’
Phil went on to say that he has ‘stepped down’ from hosting the British Soap Awards, which are just days away.
He’s also resigned from ITV with ‘immediate effect’.
‘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,’ Phil said.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.’
The former This Morning host concluded by confirming that he will not be identifying the man he had the affair with ‘to protect his privacy’.
He said it is his ‘deepest wish’ that ‘both he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so.’
The Dancing On Ice host ended with: ‘I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.’
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