Phillip Schofield has announced he is resigning from ITV with immediate effect after confirming reports he had an affair with a younger colleague from This Morning while still married.
In a statement published by the Daily Mail on Friday evening, Phillip said: “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,” he confirmed. “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. ”
Phillip then insisted that when he came out as gay in February 2020, he “did so entirely for my own wellbeing”, and was not “forced” to do so.
“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship,” he said. “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.”
He also called for the media to respect the privacy of his unnamed former colleague.
“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,” he said.
“I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.
Phillip’s statement was published shortly after it was revealed he had parted ways with his management company, YMU, after 25 years.
YMU’s CEO Mary Bekhait 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.”
Phillip revealed on Saturday that he and ITV had “agreed” he should leave This Morning with immediate effect.
His departure came amid rumours of a fall-out with his long-time co-host Holly Willoughby, which he previously denied.
As well as This Morning, he and Holly host the ITV reality show Dancing On Ice together, while Phillip also fronts the game show The Cube solo.