Phillip Schofield admits affair with ‘younger colleague’ on This Morning
Philip Schofield has admitted to having an affair with a younger male colleague while working on This Morning before lying about the relationship to ITV, colleagues and his agents.
In a statement released to the Daily Mail, the 61-year-old presenter described the relationship as “unwise but not illegal”.
The affair took place while he was still married to his wife of 30 years and mother of his two children, Stephanie Lowe.
It comes as his agency YMU released a statement announcing it had “agreed to part company with Philip” after “we have learned important new information about our client”.
Schofield‘s statement also revealed he is stepping down from ITV with immediate effect and will not host next month’s British Soap Awards as planned. He left This Morning after more than 20 years last week following reports of a feud with co-host Holly Willoughby.
He said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
Mary Bekhait, Group CEO of Mr. Schofield’s agency YMU Group, said: “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.”
Schofield had reportedly been lined up to host another primetime series with ITV following his departure from This Morning but any hopes of a comeback with the channel now look to be over.
Sources backstage on This Morning told The Sun that a “toxic” atmosphere had been brewing for some time, and that a decision by bosses had to be made “for the sake of the show”.
Announcing his departure on Saturday, Schofield said that “This Morning itself had become the story” and he “hoped his stepping down would mean the show could “move forward to a bright future”.
Cracks in his long-running screen partnership with Willoughby are believed to have started to appear last September, when they were accused of “queue jumping” after being spotted at Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state in the VIP line.
Schofield later took a planned period of leave from his This Morning hosting duties while his 54-year-old brother was on trial at the Exeter Crown Court, where he was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy between October 2016 and October 2019.
In a statement after the trial, Schofield said he welcomed the guilty verdicts for “despicable crimes”, adding: “As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.”