On Friday 26 May, it was revealed that Schofield had been dropped by his agent after the TV host admitted to lying about an “unwise but not illegal” consensual relationship he had with a younger male colleague on the daytime series, while being married to his wife.
Schofield has since resigned from ITV, with the broadcaster’s bosses saying they were “badly let down” by the former This Morning host.
The 61-year-old sat down with the BBC’s Amol Rajan to discuss details of the affair, and to address specific accusations related to the scandal.
Below are the five biggest revelations from the Schofield interview.
Schofield says he didn’t “groom” younger colleague
The presenter said that he started “innocently” following the unnamed male on Twitter, where he would share advice about starting out in TV. He said he ”disagrees with the summation” that this could be constituted as “grooming”. Schofield said it was “a few months” after the male started working on This Morning that, after “becoming mates... something happened that just changed [their relationship].”
He added that this was “the moment I look back on” and “regret”. Schofield said the man was 20 when he first had “any kind of sexual contact with him”, and that they had five or six romantic encounters over a few months. “It was a grave error”, he said, adding: “I shouldn’t have done it.”
Schofield thinks his career is over
Schofield does not believe he will ever work in TV again, stating: “I am done. I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart. I have lost everything.”
He continued: “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. I did something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently.”
Schofield thinks the scandal was intensified by homophobia
Schofield said that he believes homophobia has been a factor in the reaction to news of the affair. “If it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal,” he said, revealing that “a very prominent public figure” called him to say they have “never seen such homophobia in all my life”.
When asked to elabroate on this, he said: “If it’s a gay relationship, then suddenly it raises eyebrows. People do find each other attractive in other age groups – it does happen.” He said the scandal would not be so “massive” if it had been a “hetereosexual relationship”.
Schofield denies “paying” anyone off
“God no,” Schofield repsonded when asked if he had either “payed off” any parties or made anyone sign NDAs [non-disclosesure agreements], suppressing negative stories about him.
He also denied getting the unnamed male “fired” from ITV, and said he spoke to him the night before he came out as gay on This Morning. “He knew about that; he was never gonna out me,” Schofield said, while also denying Eamonn Holmes’ claims that he is a “bully” who “lords it around” on TV sets.
Schofield reveals he’s had suicidal thoughts
He said the “relentless” reports about him are having a “catastrophic effect” on his mind, stating: “Do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am. I have lost everything.” He said that his daughters “saved” his life by not leaving his side “for a moment” in the aftermath of the scandal. He continued: “If my girls hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here because I don’t see a future. How much do you want a man to take? I know I’ve done something wrong, but it’s constant.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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