Phillip Schofield has sensationally resigned from ITV and been dropped by his agent after he admitted to lying about an affair with a “younger male” colleague on ‘This Morning’.
The 61-year-old – who has quit the network amid intense scrutiny over his relationship with co-host Holly Willoughby, 42, amid rumours the pair had fallen out – was still married at the time of his fling.
Phillip, who last week left ‘This Morning’, said in a long statement issued to the Daily Mail on Friday (26.05.23): “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.”
Phillip was still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe at the time of the affair, who he married in 1993.
He came out as gay in 2020, but remained faithful to his long-term partner.
Phillip added in his statement: “When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody ‘forced’ me out.”
And he insisted about not taking legal action to try and stop the story of his affair previously emerging: “Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me.
“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven't been truthful about the relationship.
“But my recent, unrelated, departure from ‘This Morning’ fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.”
He went on: “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.”
Telling how he was also quitting his big upcoming ITV presenting job, he added: “I have therefore decided to step down from the ‘British Soap Awards’, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
“I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.”
Phillip added he was not naming the man with whom he had an affair, adding:
“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 free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so.
“I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.”
Phillip has also been dropped by his agent YMU, which said in a statement: “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.”