I’m broken and ashamed… but I’m NOT a groomer says Phillip Schofield in bombshell first interview
PHILLIP Schofield has spoken for the first time about his affair with a much younger colleague, revealing he is “utterly broken and ashamed” — but stressed he did not groom him.The axed This Morning host, 61, who has been in hiding since the scandal broke, approached The Sun to tell his story after what he says was a week of lies flooding social media.
Phillip Schofield has spoken for the first time about his affair with a much younger colleague, revealing he is ‘utterly broken and ashamed’Credit: Louis Wood
Phillip has stressed that he did not groom the young colleagueCredit: Enterprise
Phil has offered a huge apology to Holly Willoughby for ruining their TV partnershipCredit: Rex
Talking to The Sun and visibly shaking, Phillip says: “I did not, I did not (groom him).
“There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way (an abuse of power) because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.
“But of course I understand that there will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that anywhere else.
“I assume somebody, somewhere, assumed something was going on, correctly, and didn’t say anything.
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“At the time I did not think about it possibly ruining my career. I really probably only thought about it when I saw the rumour mill, and saw it growing.
“Then I saw the link with the drama school photo all those years before, and thought, ‘This looks shocking’.
“But I didn’t lie to protect my career, he didn’t want his name in public. He wanted his own life.
“The lies grew bigger and bigger and bigger and it was affecting both of us deeply.
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“It got to the stage where it was out of control and for whatever cost, it had to stop.
“I have massive guilt, and regret. I’ve made a mistake, I’ve had an affair at work.”
Furiously vaping, he added: “I think my greatest apology must go to him.
“It has brought the greatest misery into his totally innocent life, his totally innocent family, his totally innocent friends. It has brought the greatest grief to them.
“I haven’t spoken to him since this s*** show kicked off, but when this was all beginning to get out of control, I paid for his lawyers to independently work on his behalf.
“I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better. I should have acted the way I have always acted. I should not have done it.
“I’m sorry. And I will forever be sorry. I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”
The Sun has not paid for the bombshell interview in which he reveals:
DETAILS his six-month romance, insisting: “I know the photos of us circulating on Twitter look shocking, but I’m not a groomer”;
REVEALS he is still friends with the ex show runner, 30 years his junior who we are not naming, and says their romance only started once the man was 20 after “something just happened between us that changed everything”;
OFFERS a huge apology to former co-host Holly Willoughby for ruining their TV partnership, and confirms the pair no longer speak;
ADMITS he has not watched a single This Morning since his resignation so missed a slightly-stilted tribute from stand-ins Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary. He says: “I can’t watch it. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to again.”
Schofield has admitted lying to cover up the affair which sparked a tumultuous week, with ITV bosses being accused of hiding the facts.
With his career in tatters, he has decided to put the record straight by speaking to The Sun and the BBC’s Amol Rajan. Addressing lurid allegations and rumours posted online, Schofield insisted his former boyfriend did not receive a penny in “hush” money.
He said no non-disclosure agreement was ever signed that would have prevented the man from speaking out.
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Yesterday it was confirmed that ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has been summoned to Parliament to be grilled on safeguarding. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee wants to quiz her next Wednesday.
And Holly was seen for the first time after spending the week hiding out at her £8million Algarve bolthole with family.
Phillip sat down to set the record straight exclusively with The Sun’s Clemmie MoodieCredit: Louis Wood More