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ITV deeply disappointed with Phillip Schofield over affair ‘deceit’

ITV deeply disappointed with Phillip Schofield over affair ‘deceit’

A spokesperson for ITV said the broadcaster was “deeply disappointed” by the “admissions of deceit” made by Phillip Schofield after the presenter admitted to an affair with a young This Morning colleague.

The veteran TV presenter, 61, said that the affair began while he was still with his wife Stephanie, adding he was “very, very sorry” for having been unfaithful to her.

It comes after he announced he was stepping down from presenting the ITV talk show with “immediate effect” last weekend, while co-presenter Holly Willoughby will remain on the programme.

Schofield, who also co-hosted Dancing On Ice with Willoughby, said he would also step down from presenting the British Soap Awards, his last public commitment.

Phillip Schofield stepping down from This Morning
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The statement from ITV said that the broadcaster feels “badly let down”.

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“We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield,” the spokesperson said.

“The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust.

“Phillip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.

“We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated.”

In a statement released through the Daily Mail on Friday, the presenter apologised for lying about the relationship.

“The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them (the Daily Mail), and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning,” he said.

“I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.”

He added that “contrary to speculation” the relationship was “not illegal”.

He said: “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.”

He denied that a superinjunction had been issued by him, or on his behalf, regarding the relationship.

“When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing,” he said.

“Nobody ‘forced’ me out. 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.”

The presenter added: “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.”

Phillip Schofield and Stephanie Lowe attending the Brit Awards in 2018
Phillip Schofield and Stephanie Lowe attending the Brit Awards in 2018 (PA)

Talent agency YMU said it has “parted company” with Schofield “with immediate effect”.

Mary Bekhait, chief executive of the YMU Group, said: “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.

“These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him.

“As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect.”

The revelations come after Schofield faced months of controversy including reports of a rift with his long-time co-host Willoughby, his brother’s sex abuse trial and a furore over his visit to the late Queen’s lying-in-state.

Schofield married Stephanie Lowe in 1993 and they have two grown-up daughters together, Ruby and Molly.

After he came out in February 2020, in an emotional on-air chat with Willoughby, his wife told The Sun she supported his “brave step” and “always will” love him.

She also said: “Our family has also been so supportive and will help us going forward.”