By Steven McIntosh
TV presenter Phillip Schofield has confirmed he had an affair with a younger male ITV employee while he was still married.
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Schofield apologised for lying to his colleagues and the media.
Schofield said his relationship with the young employee, who the BBC is not naming, was “unwise but not illegal”.
The 61-year-old left his role as a host on This Morning last week reports of a rift with co-star Holly Willoughby.
Schofield added he was resigning from ITV with immediate effect and will not present the British Soap Awards next month as planned.
The TV presenter was still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe at the time of the affair. He and his wife separated in 2020, after Schofield came out as gay.
His announcement follows significant online speculation over several months about Schofield’s personal relationships.
Schofield also told the BBC he was stepping down from being managed by talent agency YMU “with immediate effect”.
Phillip Schofield’s 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 judgement 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.”