Phillip Schofield says he’s ‘lost everything’ and apologises over affair – as he reveals where first romantic encounter took place

Phillip Schofield says he's 'lost everything' and apologises over affair - as he reveals where first romantic encounter took place

Phillip Schofield has said his “career is over” following a scandal over an affair with a younger male colleague – but insisted he did not groom him.

The 61-year-old resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” affair with the man.

In an interview with The Sun, he said he felt “utterly broken and ashamed” but insisted he “did not” groom the man, as he told the paper he will “die sorry” and said his “greatest apology” over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover.

Schofield also revealed:

• He has had suicidal thoughts since the scandal broke and likened his situation to what Caroline Flack faced before her death

• The first romantic encounter between the pair happened in his dressing room and that the man was 20 when they first had any sexual contact

• The pair had five or six romantic encounters – Schofield denied the man was driven from ITV studios to his London home in taxis paid for by ITV

• He thinks ITV bosses should have completed a more thorough investigation in 2020

• Co-star Holly Willoughby did not know about the affair

• He does not believe there is a toxic work environment on the set of This Morning

Talking to the BBC, he said: “I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart… I have lost everything.

“What am I going to do with my days?” he said. “I see nothing ahead of me but blackness, and sadness, and regret, and remorse, and guilt. I did something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently.”

Schofield also agreed that ITV bosses should have completed “a proper and more thorough investigation” in 2020 and said he hoped the upcoming external review announced by Dame Carolyn McCall on Wednesday would be “thorough”.

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‘Do you want me to die?’

He also denied that the young man signed a non-disclosure agreement or received a financial settlement to stay silent about the affair.

Schofield told the BBC his first romantic encounter with his colleague took place in his dressing room and that the man was 20 years old when they first had any kind of sexual contact.

He said the pair were “not boyfriends” and had five or six romantic encounters over a few months.

The presenter said he understood the affair could be an abuse of power but “that wasn’t how it felt at the time”.

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He also denied press reports that the man was regularly driven by taxis between Schofield’s London home and the This Morning studios.

“He didn’t frequently come to my flat, he came to the flat once, to my recollection, he didn’t stay over,” he said.

Schofield also said he 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”.

Meanwhile, the presenter told The Sun his former lover had been brought the “greatest misery into his totally innocent life”.

He added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better…I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”

Schofield told the BBC he had suicidal thoughts and that his daughters are “scared to let me out of their sight”.

“Last week, if my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here.”

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“How much do you want a man to take and are you truly only happy when he’s dead? This is how Caroline Flack felt,” he added.

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.

Wife was ‘very, very angry’

He told The Sun his wife 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.

He said: “She got off a plane and I phoned her up and texted saying, ‘I need to talk to you’.

“She called back and I told her. She was very, very angry.”

His exit from This Morning came after weeks of rumours of a rift between him and his co-presenter Holly Willoughby.

Willoughby said Schofield lied to her about his affair with a much younger male colleague and said it was “very hurtful”. Rumours of the relationship had first begun to circulate in 2020.

He also confirmed Willoughby did not know about the affair, adding: “Nobody knew.”

In the BBC interview, Schofield said his interactions with the younger colleague before he joined This Morning were “completely innocent”.

He told BBC News: “It was a totally innocent picture, a totally innocent Twitter follow, of which I follow 11,400 people, and then it was a completely innocent backwards and forwards over a period of time about a job, about careers.”

He added: “The brief communications backwards and forwards up to the point that he came to work on This Morning I think was just chat.

“What was unwise was the fact that it happened. And that was a very, very grave error, it was consensual, but it was my fault.”

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.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.