Phillip Schofield says he has 'lost everything' in wake of affair with colleague

In his first interviews since leaving the broadcaster and This Morning, he said he was 'utterly broken and ashamed' but denied claims he had 'groomed' the man.

The former This Morning presenter said the fallout from the revelations had been ‘relentless’ as Richard Gaisford reports on GMB

Phillip Schofield has said he has “lost everything” in the wake of his affair with a younger male colleague, adding he sees “nothing ahead of me but blackness” and has been dealing with suicidal thoughts.

The former This Morning presenter, 61, said the fallout from the revelations had been “relentless” and urged the media to leave his former lover “alone now”.

But he also spoke to the BBC’s Amol Rajan about the “catastrophic effect” that weeks of criticism has had on his wellbeing, likening the attention to Caroline Flack’s online abuse in the weeks prior to her February 2020 suicide.

A coroner ruled the former Love Island host, 40, took her own life after learning that prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge on her then-boyfriend Lewis Burton.

Schofield said on Friday: “Do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am.”

He said he saw “nothing ahead” of him and he had to talk about his career in television “in the past tense”.

Schofield has said he understands ‘how Caroline Flack felt’ before her suicide in 2020 aged 40. / Credit: PA

“It is relentless, and it is day after day, after day after day,” he added. “If you don’t think that that is going to have the most catastrophic effect on someone’s mind… I have lost everything.”

He praised his daughters Ruby and Molly for “guarding him”, saying: “Last week, if my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here.

“They’ve been by my side every moment because they’re scared to let me out of their sight.”

He added: “I think I understand how Caroline Flack felt” when thinking about how much more someone can take when it comes to public criticism.”

“I know that’s a selfish point of view,” Schofield added.

“But you come to a point where you just think, how much are you supposed to take? If all of those people that write all that stuff, do they ever think that there’s actually a person at the other end?”.

He also expressed feeling as though his career is over following the fallout: “I see nothing ahead of me but blackness and sadness and regret and remorse and guilt.”

“I’m not in television any more, I don’t know what I am even remotely if I get through this,” he added.

“I don’t know even remotely how I move forward… what am I going to do with my days?

“I did something very wrong and then I lied about it consistently and you can’t live with that. How do you live with that?”

Asked by Rajan, the BBC’s media editor, if he was strong enough to do the interview, he replied: “I have to.”

And when pressed as to why, Schofield said in reference to his former colleague: “Because there is an innocent person here who didn’t do anything wrong, who is vulnerable and probably feels like I do.

“And I just have to say, stop with him… leave him alone.”

Schofield has revealed further details about how the relationship with a younger colleague came to fruition. / Credit: PA

In Schofield’s interview with the BBC, others details revealed included:

  • The first time the pair had any “kind of sexual contact” was when the young man was 20 and their first romantic encounter occurred in his ITV dressing room;
  • He dismissed claims by GB News presenter Dan Wootton that he had been responsible for him being fired as a contributor on ITV show Lorraine, saying it came from Wootton’s “utter, total hatred” for him;
  • Schofield said homophobia was a factor in people who disapproved of the affair, adding: “If it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal”;
  • The pair were not “boyfriends,” he clarified: “I was really in a mess with my sexuality at the time and it just happened”;
  • The last time they had contact was a few weeks ago when Schofield organised a lawyer for his former lover because he needed “independent” support;
  • He reiterated Holly Willoughby “did not know” about the affair, adding it “was the one secret in our sanctuary that was never mentioned”.

Schofield resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to the “unwise but not illegal” relationship.

In his first interviews since leaving the broadcaster and This Morning, he also denied claims he had “groomed” the man.

Schofield has denied feuding with his ‘TV sister’ Holly Willoughby. / Credit: PA

The former Dancing on Ice presenter told The Sun newspaper the fallout from his secret affair had brought “the greatest misery” to his former lover’s “totally innocent life”.

And he also denied there had ever been a “feud” between him and his former co-presenter and “TV sister” Holly Willoughby.

“I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down,” he told The Sun.

He revealed the text he last sent to Willoughby: “The last time we had a conversation was when I texted Holly and said, ‘Don’t reply’ – this was after the statement last week – ‘Don’t reply, you’re probably not allowed to, but I am deeply deeply sorry that I lied to you.'”

The pair had presented This Morning together since 2009, with Willoughby due to return to the show on Monday after the half-term break, having taken an early holiday after news of Schofield’s departure emerged.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary have been among the presenters hosting the programme in recent weeks.

Schofield went on to say that his “greatest apology” over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover and that he would “die sorry” for what he had done.

If you are struggling and need support you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

If you’re experiencing a mental health problem you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000.

You can call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline UK on 0800 689 5652.

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