Philip Schofield has broken his silence and hit back at critics in a statement after leaving This Morning and ITV.
The presenter announced his departure from the programme last week and later admitted to an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a much younger colleague.
He later resigned entirely from ITV and was dropped by his agents after admitting to lying to bosses and colleagues about the affair.
Lawyers representing Schofield have confirmed they met when the boy was 15, but said the affair began after he started working at ITV, and the man’s lawyers have also confirmed this.
On Monday, he insisted This Morning “is the best show to work on”, after the show’s former doctor Ranj Singh, released a lengthy statement about the “toxic culture” on the programme.
It claimed the “issues with This Morning go far beyond him [Schofield]”.
In a response, Schofield said: “On Instagram he said: “Now I no longer work on @thismorning I am free to say this. I hope you have noticed that it’s the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.
“This morning IS the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there there was no toxicity. You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like.
“But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know, it IS a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard working people.”
The show will be presented by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on Monday after a 30-second tribute was paid to Schofield last week following his departure.
Schofield’s co-host Holly Willoughby took an early half-term holiday and stated that she was “hurt” by Schofield’s actions.
She is due to return to the programme on Monday, June 5.
Willoughby has also said that “when reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not”.
“It’s been very hurtful to now find out this was a lie,” her Instagram statement added.
ITV said a formal complaint made by Dr Ranj was investigated but found “no evidence of bullying or discrimination”.
A spokesperson also said it was “deeply disappointed” by the “admissions of deceit” by Schofield after he spoke publicly about the affair.