Phillip Schofield has said he has “lost everything” and does not see a future for his career, in an emotional and frank interview.
After fleeing the waiting paparazzi outside his house, he sat down to tell his side of the story in the interview.
Schofield said his “career is over” following the affair he had with a young male colleague.
However, Schofield said the affair ‘was a grave error’, adding:
“I shouldn’t have done it”.Phillip Schofield
The TV presenter appeared exhausted and distressed, and spoke quietly as he said he was “desperately sorry”.
Questions have been raised about ITV’s handling of the situation, how much bosses knew of the affair, and whether its own investigation went far enough.
Following the controversy, Schofield said he doubted he would return to a career in TV. He said:
“I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart. I have lost everything”.Phillip Schofield
“What am I going to do with my days? I see nothing ahead of me but blackness, sadness, regret, and remorse, and guilt. I did something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently”.Phillip Schofield
Referring to his former colleague, the 61-year-old said:
“He is an innocent party here. I was older, I should have known better. [The affair] was consensual, but it was my fault”.Phillip Schofield
Schofield paid tribute to his daughters, who he said had helped him cope with suicidal thoughts in recent days.
“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”.Phillip Schofield
I fully appreciate there is a massive age gap
Schofield explained his first romantic encounter with his colleague took place in his dressing room, adding there were only five or six such encounters in total between the pair over a few months.
His admission of the affair raised questions about the power balance between the pair and whether or not Schofield had taken advantage of his position.
“I fully appreciate there is a massive age gap, but that happens in life. I think there is an enormous amount of homophobia that happens to be male, but if it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal.
“I understand that, and it’s a very valid question to put to me. If it’s an abuse of power, it’s not in my nature to be that person, but of course, it could be perceived as that. But that wasn’t how it felt at the time”.Phillip Schofield
ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an external review to establish the facts about how ITV handled its own investigation into rumors of the affair in 2020.
The network’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has been asked to attend the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee on 14 June to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding following the controversy.
Schofield confirmed he first met the man – then a 15-year-old boy – he would go on to have an affair with when he was invited to appear as part of an event at a drama school many years ago.
He and the man began communicating on Twitter after they followed each other following the event. Schofield said the man asked for advice on working in the TV industry.
The presenter characterized their communication as a ‘completely innocent backward-and-forwards over a period of time, about a job, about careers’.
Schofield noted he follows 11,300 people on Twitter, which he no longer uses, and there had never been “any whiff of impropriety” during his time on the social media platform.
“What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with talking to someone no matter what age they are, does that mean if you’re following anyone on Twitter that you don’t give advice?”.Phillip Schofield
“I’ve done it all my life. I’m best friends with the people who got me into television, and I’ve always believed in paying it forward, so I didn’t think about it”.Phillip Schofield