Phillip Schofield has spoken about the affair he had with a younger male colleague for the first time since leaving ITV last week.
Here are the key points from his interviews with BBC and The Sun:
Lover was not underage
Phillip Schofield denied he had any sexual interaction with his former This Morning colleague when the younger man was underage, but said their later affair was “unforgivable”.
Asked directly by the BBC’s Amol Rajan if he had any kind of sexual relationship while his former lover was underage, Schofield said: “God no.
“In my statement, it says ‘consensual relationship, fully legal’, I mean, that (the statement) was approved by both sides.”
A victim of hate
Schofield told the BBC he was not a victim of the situation around his hidden affair, but added: “I feel a victim of hate after the event, and I think there will probably be a lot of people watching this now thinking, ‘how dare you?’
“It would be easier for me to say I don’t feel like a victim. What I feel a victim of is spun areas of non-factual information and gossip and nastiness. But I don’t look any more.”
Believes television career is over
In a sign he believes his television career is over, Schofield told the BBC’s Rajan: “I see nothing ahead of me but blackness and sadness and regret and remorse and guilt.”
He said: “I’m not in television any more, I don’t know what I am even remotely – if I get through this. I don’t know even remotely how I move forward – what am I going to do with my days?”
“I see nothing ahead of me but blackness and sadness and regret and remorse and guilt.”
Dismissed claims by former ITV presenter Dan Wootton
Schofield dismissed claims by GB News presenter Dan Wootton that he had been responsible for him being fired as a contributor on ITV show Lorraine, saying the accusations had come from Wootton’s “utter, total hatred” for him.
“That is, I think, the foundation of his utter, total hatred of me,” he said to the BBC.
“You can’t do it. There is no way that any presenter on one show can get a contributor fired from another because they don’t like the fact they’re in the building.
“I don’t know where this came from, that I have more power than anybody else. Bless Dan, there is a lot of things that I think he said out of hatred for me. And now I’ve actually brought myself to a far, far greater – you will never have done. I am done.”
No NDA or injunction in place
Schofield denied allegations that his former This Morning colleague was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to keep him silent over their affair and feels the truth is coming out now as “the lie got too big for both of us”.
The BBC’s Amol Rajan asked: “Do you know if he has signed an NDA, a non-disclosure agreement, preventing him from speaking?”
Schofield said: “Did I make him sign an NDA? No, absolutely not.”
He also said there is no injunction or any NDA preventing media coverage of their relationship and that his former lover was not paid off for his silence.
Schofield said in his interview with The Sun: “I did not (groom him). There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way (an abuse of power) because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.
“But, of course, I understand that their will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that anywhere else.”
Started in 2017
Schofield told The Sun the affair with the younger colleague began in 2017 after a “consensual moment” in his dressing room.
He said: “It was not a love affair, it was not a relationship, we were not boyfriends; we were mates.
“It wasn’t feelings, it was more like mates: excitement.”
The former This Morning presenter said he was struggling with his sexuality at the time, and the pair were together “maybe five or six times”.
He added: “We just didn’t think anyone knew, there was no lying, we thought, stupidly, that nobody knew.”
Schofield said his “greatest apology” over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover.
He told The Sun: “It has brought the greatest misery into his totally innocent life, his totally innocent family, his totally innocent friends. It has brought the greatest grief to them.”
He added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better. I should have acted the way I have always acted. I should not have done it.
“I’m sorry. And I will forever be sorry. I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”
Schofield suggested homophobia could be behind some of the criticism levelled at him over the age gap in his interview with The Sun overnight.
He said: “Attraction is attraction. It’s no different in the gay world as it is in the heterosexual world or in the lesbian world.
“There shouldn’t be a difference. This is where homophobia comes in.
“We did first meet when he was 15, I visited the drama school (he attended).”
He added: “So yeah, there’s a difference. It’s accepted by Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not accepted if it’s in the gay world.”
He said his wife, Stephanie, was “very, very angry” after he confessed to her about his affair with a younger ITV colleague.
Schofield had previously denied rumours about the affair to her when she had asked about them.
He told The Sun: “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.”
Holly Willoughby ‘did not know’
The 61-year-old presenter apologised to Willoughby for lying to her about his relationship when he spoke to The Sun.
He said: “I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down (Holly). I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down.
“Holly did not know (about the affair). And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.
“She didn’t reply and I understand why she didn’t reply, as well. So yeah. If anyone is in any way linking Holly to this; that is absolutely, wholly untrue.”
He later added to the BBC, when asked, “Who knew on the team?” that “To my knowledge, I mean, somebody has to know something for there to be a rumour later on. I didn’t believe that anybody knew.”
He also re-iterated to Rajan that Willoughby did not know.
Relationship with Willoughby
Schofield said his friendship with his former co-presenter did not break down following their visit to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state, but after his brother, Timothy, was jailed for 12 years for sexually abusing a boy.
He told The Sun: “So we are forever now (associated)… it doesn’t matter now because I’m not going to go out any more but, forever now, you go to the butcher’s and someone says, ‘Oh do you want to (skip ahead)?’ ‘No, no, I’ll stand here.’ I’m serious.
“I don’t ever throw anyone under the bus, but I have a very good instinct for these things and I knew it was a bad thing to do.”
He added: “We were texting each other backwards and forwards afterwards. I said to Holly, ‘I knew I should have gone with my gut,’ and she said, ‘I know’.
“But we were shell-shocked, the both of us, completely shell-shocked by the reaction.
“What are the two things you don’t screw up? The Queen and a queue.”
The presenter told The Sun he is no longer in contact with anyone from ITV, but is adamant the show should not be axed.