Holly Willoughby says Schofield lied about affair with younger colleague

The presenter spoke out for the first time since Schofield quit ITV and admitted to 'unwise but not illegal' affair.

Philip Schofield: Holly Willoughby speaks for first time over former co-host’s affair with younger colleague Getty Images

Holly Willoughby has said Phillip Schofield lied to her about his affair with a much younger colleague.

She has spoken out for the first time since her former This Morning co-host, 61, admitted having an “unwise but not illegal” affair with an employee with ITV.

The veteran broadcaster’s relationship with the ITV employee took place before he publicly came out as gay on This Morning in 2020.

Schofield announced he was quitting ITV on Friday May 26.

Willougby posted on Instagram: “It has taken time to process yesterday’s news.

“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 that this was a lie.”

Holly Willoughby shared a statement on her Instagram page

In a statement released to the Daily Mail, Schofield said he was “deeply sorry” for lying about his affair.

At the time he had been married to his wife Stephanie Lowe since 1993.

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.

“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.”

ITV had said it felt “badly let down” by Schofield following his admission of lying.

The channel revealed it investigated rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and a young employee three years ago.

It said that both Schofield and the young man were questioned about the claims, but both “categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours”.

Schofield’s then-agency YMU also reportedly denied the rumours, according to ITV. 

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.”

Willoughby is set to return to This Morning on June 5.

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