Phillip Schofield denies grooming young colleague in first interview since affair scandal

Former ‘This Morning’ presenter said he ‘absolutely knows’ he ‘did a bad thing’

Inga Parkel
Friday 02 June 2023 06:24 BST
A timeline of the Phillip Schofield controversy

Phillip Schofield has said he’s “utterly broken and ashamed” over having an affair with a younger male colleague, but denied grooming the man.

In the ex-TV presenter’s first sit-down interview since resigning from ITV and This Morning last week, he apologised and assumed full responsibility for his actions.

“I absolutely know – there is no question – I did a bad thing; unprofessional; first time. I know, I know I did that. And there’s no excuse, I won’t put forward an excuse,” Schofield told The Sun.

Speaking about his “consensual” relationship with his former This Morning colleague, he said: “We became mates and then one day, something happened that just changed it. And that’s the moment I look back on.”

Asked whether he had “groomed” the unnamed male, Schofield stressed: “I did not... I did not.”

He went on to share the last correspondence he had with his former This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby after he issued a formal statement on Friday 26 May.

“Don’t reply, you’re probably not allowed to. But I am deeply, deeply sorry that I lied to you,” he recalled texting Willougby. “And I am. It was the one secret in our sanctuary that was never mentioned.

Phillip Schofield

“My biggest regret is getting into a relationship at work,” he added. “To every single person, I am deeply sorry. And I apologised to him because I should’ve known better.”

Schofield also said that his “greatest apology” was to his former lover, who has been brought the “greatest misery into his totally innocent life”.

He added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better.... I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”

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Schofield had reportedly first met the man when he was 15 years old, but said the affair did not begin until he was much older and had begun working at ITV.

At the time of the affair, Schofield was married to his wife Stephanie Lowe. He married Lowe in 1993, before he eventually came out as gay in 2020. The two have since split up, but remain legally married.

He said his wife was “very, very angry” after he confessed to her, having previously denied the relationship.

Schofield also said: “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.”

The BBC is also set to release an interview with Schofield being grilled by Amol Rajan.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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