ITV has released a new statement, confirming that an investigation into Phillip Schofield and an employee was conducted in 2020, and no evidence of a relationship was found ‘beyond hearsay and rumour’.
On Friday, the former This Morning host resigned from his ITV roles, including the British Soap Awards, and confessed he had an ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with a young male colleague.
The veteran TV presenter, 61, said that the affair began while he was still with his wife Stephanie, before he came out as gay, adding he was ‘very, very sorry’ for having been unfaithful to her.
After an admission that he lied to colleagues and to ITV, on Friday night ITV broke their silence, confirming that they accept his resignation, with Schofield having already stepped down from This Morning and no longer set to appear at the British Soap Awards, or on Dancing On Ice.
The broadcaster also admitted to feeling ‘badly let down’ and ‘deeply disappointed’ after Schofield confessed to lying to bosses about his relationship.
In a comment provided to Metro.co.uk, an ITV spokesperson said: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.’
They’ve since shared a new statement about rumours surrounding Schofield’s relationship.
An ITV Spokesperson said: ‘Further to our statement last night, ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.
‘Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
‘In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
‘Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.’
As a result of Schofield’s admission, he has also been dropped by his talent agent, after working together for 35 years.
Issuing a separate statement, Schofield shared: ‘It is with the most profound regret that after 35 years of being faultlessly managed by YMU I have agreed to step down from their representation 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.
Phillip Schofield statement in full
‘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.
‘When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. 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.
‘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.
‘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 judgment in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it. 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.’
This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.
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