British TV presenter Phillip Schofield has left ITV after confirming he was in a relationship with a younger man who worked at the broadcaster.
Schofield, who came out as gay in 2020, recently quit This morning amid rumors of a rift with co-host Holly Willoughby. But the media speculated on ulterior reasons behind the move.
In a statement released, he confirmed he had been in a consensual relationship, while still married to his wife, which he describes as “ill-advised, but not illegal.”
It is unclear when the affair occurred.
“I was in an on-off consensual relationship with a younger male colleague,” she said.
“Contrary to speculation, while I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him break into television, it wasn’t until after he started working on the show that it became more than just a friendship.
“That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. Now it’s over. When I chose to come out, it was entirely for my own well-being. No one ‘forced’ me out.
“Neither I nor anyone else, as far as I know, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, on my relationship with this colleague, he has never been transferred or fired by or through my fault.
“In an attempt to protect my former colleague, I have not been honest about the relationship.
“But my recent, unrelated, departure from This morning fueled speculation and raised questions that impacted him, so for his sake it’s important that I be honest now.
“I am painfully aware that I have lied to my ITV employers, my colleagues and friends, my agents, the media and therefore the public and most importantly my family.
“I am very, very sorry, as I am for being unfaithful to my wife.
“I have therefore decided to resign from the British Soap Awardsmy last public engagement, and I step down from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the incredible opportunities they have given me.
“I will reflect on my poor judgment both in participating in the report and in lying about it.
“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.
“I now ask the media to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong and I ask that their privacy be respected.”
ITV said it investigated “rumors of an affair” between Phillip Schofield and an ITV employee about three years ago.
“Both sides were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours, as did Phillip’s then YMU agency.
“Also, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on it This morning and were not provided and found no evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumours.
Schofield was also dropped by his agent YMU, who said in a statement, “Honesty and integrity are core values throughout YMU’s business, which define everything we do.
“Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.
“We learned important new information about our customer Phillip Schofield this week.”
Schofield said, “It is with the deepest regret that after 35 years of impeccable management by YMU I have agreed to resign their representation effective immediately.”