- By Steven McIntosh
- Entertainment reporter
TV presenter Phillip Schofield has admitted lying to his colleagues and the media about an affair he had with a younger male ITV employee.
The former This Morning presenter said his affair with the man, whom the BBC is not naming, was “ill-advised but not illegal”.
He has resigned from ITV with immediate effect and will no longer present the British Soap Awards next month.
Schofield said his departure from the show had nothing to do with the affair.
The TV presenter was still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe at the time of the relationship. They split in 2020, after Schofield came out as gay.
Schofield said he was “so, very, very sorry” for being unfaithful to his wife and for lying to his colleagues, agents, employers, the media and the public.
The TV presenter said he would reflect on his “very poor judgment from both participating in the relationship and then lying about it”.
His announcement follows much online speculation over several months about Schofield’s personal relationships.
Schofield also told the BBC he was stepping down from managing talent agency YMU.
“It is with the deepest regret that after 35 years of flawless leadership by YMU, I have agreed to step down from their representation with immediate effect,” he said.
Full statement from Phillip Schofield
“I am making this statement through the Daily Mail to whom I have already personally apologized for misleading, through my lawyer whom I also misled, about a story they were about to write about me a few days ago.
“The first thing I want to say is I’m very sorry I lied to them, and to many others, about a relationship I had with someone who worked on This Morning. I did have a consensual on and off relationship with a younger man .” colleague at This Morning.
Contrary to speculation, while I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him in television, it wasn’t until after he started working on the show that it became more than just a friendship. That relationship was ill-advised. , but not illegal It’s over now.
“When I chose to come out, I did it entirely for my own good. No one ‘forced’ me out. Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an order, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he has never moved or been fired by or because of me.
“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague, I haven’t been honest about the relationship. But my recent unrelated departure from This Morning fueled speculation and raised questions that have affected him, so for him it’s important to me.” to be honest now.
“I am painfully aware that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore to the public and especially to my family. I am very sorry because I because I have been unfaithful to my wife.
“I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and resign from ITV with immediate effect, expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the wonderful opportunities they have given me.
“I will reflect on my very poor judgment in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.
“To protect his privacy, I am not naming this individual and my deepest wish is that both he and his family can now move on with their lives without further interference, and that this statement will enable them to do so.
“I now ask the media to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong and I ask that their privacy be respected.”
Schofield’s last appearance on this morning was on Friday, May 19. He announced his departure from the ITV daytime show that weekend.
Willoughby is currently on vacation, but will return to the show on Monday, June 5.