- By Steven McIntosh
- entertainment reporter
TV presenter Phillip Schofield has admitted lying to colleagues and the media about an affair he had with a young ITV employee.
The former This Morning host said her affair with the man, who the BBC does not name, was “reckless 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 was unrelated to the case.
The TV presenter was still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe at the time of the relationship. They separated in 2020, after Schofield came out as gay.
Schofield said he was “so, really, really sorry” for being unfaithful to his wife and lying to colleagues, agents, employers, the media and the public.
The TV host said he would reflect on his “really poor judgment in both being in the relationship and lying about it”.
His announcement follows significant online speculation over several months about Schofield’s personal relationships.
Schofield also told the BBC he was leaving the management of talent agency YMU.
“It is with the deepest regret that after 35 years of flawless stewardship by YMU, I have agreed to step down from their representation effective immediately,” he said.
Phillip Schofield’s statement in full
“I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already personally apologized for having misled, through my lawyer whom I also misled, a story they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
“The first thing I want to say is, I’m deeply sorry that I lied to them and so many others about a relationship I had with someone who worked on This. Morning I had a consensual relationship with a younger male colleague from This Morning.
“Contrary to speculation, while I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him get into TV, it wasn’t until after he started working on the show that it became more than just a friendship. This relationship was reckless, but not illegal, it’s now over.
“When I chose to come out, I did so entirely for my own well-being. No one ‘forced’ me out. Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued of injunction, great or otherwise, regarding my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved or fired by or because of me.
“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague, I have not told the truth about the relationship. But my recent, unrelated departure from This Morning has 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 so, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.
“I have therefore decided to withdraw from the British Soap Awards, my final public engagement, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the incredible opportunities they have afforded me.
“I will reflect on my very poor judgment in both participating in the relationship and lying about it.
“To protect his privacy, I do not name this individual and my deepest wish is that he and his family can now move on with their lives without further intrusion, and that this statement allows 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 this morning was on Friday, May 19. He announced his departure from the ITV daytime show this weekend.
Willoughby is currently on vacation but is expected to return to the show on Monday, June 5.