Disgraced UK morning show presenter Phillip Schofield has sat down for his first tell-all interview since being let go from his job after having an affair with a younger colleague.
Schofield sat down for a tell-all interview with the British tabloid The Sun on Thursday, where he admitted to having a six-month affair with the male colleague, who is now in his mid-20s. Although he denied that any grooming took place.
Schofield faced allegations of grooming after it was reported that the pair originally met when the man was only 15 years old.
Schofield told The Sun that their relationship began as friends when the man began working on the television show This Morning. He denied the allegations that he groomed him and claimed that they began their relationship once the man was 20 years old.
“I did not [groom him],” Schofield said, whilst vaping throughout the interview.
“There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across [as an abuse of power] because we’d become mates.”
Schofield said that during their relationship, he never considered the possibility that it had the potential to ruin his career.
“I really probably only thought about it when I saw the rumour mill and saw it growing. Then I saw the link with the drama school photo all those years before, and thought, ‘This looks shocking’,” he said.
He also told the publication that he didn’t lie to protect his career but to protect the man he was in a relationship with.
“I didn’t lie to protect my career, he didn’t want his name in public. He wanted his own life. The lies grew bigger and bigger and bigger and it was affecting both of us deeply. It got to the stage where it was out of control and for whatever cost, it had to stop,” he explained.
Schofield claimed that he had “Massive guilt, and regret” over the situation and admitted that entering a relationship at work was “a mistake”.
He also touched on his relationship with his co-host of 14 years, Holly Willoughby.
“I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down. I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down,” he said.
“Holly did not know [about the romance]. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.”
ICYMI, Mail on Sunday has alleged that Schofield, met the man who he admitted to having an affair with when the man was 15 years old (although the affair began many years later). He was allegedly then hired by network ITV after Schofield organised an interview for him.
According to the UK publication, the pair met while Schofield was giving a talk at his theatre school.
The boy is said to have asked for a job and was eventually recruited as a production assistant at age 18. Years after he was hired, the pair began their affair.
The man is now in his mid-20s and their relationship has ended. His name has been withheld for privacy reasons.
In his initial statement on Saturday, Schofield described the relationship as “unwise, but not illegal. It is now over…”.
Schofield came out as gay in February 2020 after being married to his wife for 27 years with whom he has two adult daughters.
The Mail on Sunday’s report comes just one day after Holly Willoughby, host of the popular UK television program This Morning, broke her silence after her former co-host Schofield resigned from broadcaster ITV following an admission he’d had an affair with a colleague.
In an Instagram Story published in the early hours of Sunday morning, Willoughby penned a short statement.
“It’s taken time to process yesterday’s news,” the 42-year-old began.
“When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not.
“It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie,” she finished, before signing off “Holly”.
In a statement published by the Daily Mail on May 27, Schofield admitted to misleading his employer, his agent, co-workers and friends regarding the extramarital relationship.
“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 [sic] which they wanted to write about me a few days ago,” the 61-year-old began.
“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…
“I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife…”
Schofield finished by stating he had deliberately not identified the younger man with whom he had an affair due to privacy concerns.
Earlier this month, Schofield announced he’d be departing This Morning after 20 years on the couch.
Upon his exit from the morning slot, rumours were swirled that he was set to cop a prime-time hosting gig.
Schofield’s management agency, YMU, has also made a statement, in which it announced it would be parting ways with the presenter.
“This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield,” began YMU CEO Mary Bekhait per Deadline.
“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.”
Back in 2022, a separate cheating scandal engulfed Good Morning America hosts T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach.
The pair were eventually dismissed from their roles after weeks of ~very~ public fallout.
Image Source: The Sun