TV presenter Phillip Schofield has apologised to his wife, who stood by him after he came out as gay in 2020, after sensationally confessing to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague.
The ‘unwise’ romance took place during the couple’s nearly 30-year marriage and Schofield said he was ‘so very sorry’ for being unfaithful.
Stephanie Lowe, 59, who shares two children, Ruby, 27, and Molly, 29, with Schofield, issued a statement when her husband came out as gay in a moving This Morning segment in 2020.
The presenter stepped down from his This Morning hosting duty last weekend after more than 20 years on the airwaves before confirming the affair in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday.
He has also resigned from ITV and will not host the British Soap Awards. He has also been dropped by his agents at YMU ‘with immediate effect’.
In a groveling statement, the former ITV presenter said: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail, to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story [sic] which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning.
‘I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘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 a 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…
‘I am resigning from ITV with immediate effect, expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.’
An ITV Spokesperson said on Friday evening: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated.’
The couple married in March 1993 after meeting when Schofield worked in children’s television and she was a BBC production assistant.
They held their wedding in Scotland’s Ackergill Tower in 1993 and celebrated their silver anniversary in 2018 – just two years before Schofield came out as gay.
In February 2020, the presenter told his Instagram followers about his sexuality, saying he had the support of his wife and daughters.
‘You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing – and so you won’t know what has been consuming me for the last few years.
‘With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.’
In a follow-up post, he spoke about how Stephanie had continued to support him after he came out.
‘Steph has been incredible – I love her so very much. She is the kindest soul I have ever met. My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort.
‘Both mine and Steph’s entire families have stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support. Of course, they are worried about Steph, but I know they will scoop us both up.’
At the time, Ms Lowe issued a heartfelt statement in support of her husband and said she would support him in taking the ‘brave step’.
‘We have had to face the most emotionally painful time in our 27 years of marriage.
Phillip Schofield has sensationally admitted to having a relationship with a much younger man who worked as a colleague for him on This Morning (pictured with co-host Holly Willoughby)
Former close friends Schofield and Willoughby, pictured together on Dancing on Ice in 2006, had increasingly grown apart in recent months
‘I love Phillip, as much today as I ever have, and always will.’
She told The Sun in 2020 that: ‘We’ve been awestruck by the strength and love of our precious girls, even as they’ve been trying to make sense of it all for themselves.
‘Our family have also been so supportive and will help us going forward.’
She added: ‘Although this is difficult for us all, I support Phillip in taking this brave step.’
Schofield is still often seen wearing his wedding ring and told Chris Evans’ podcast in October 2020 that: ‘It is not in my nature to hurt people and so I have to reconcile myself with the fact that I have done that.
‘Indeed I have done that and I tried very hard not to. I also say, is it possible to come out and not hurt your wife?
‘No of course it isn’t. My greatest concern is that she is okay.’
He said on the podcast that the couple had not discussed divorce. The Mirror has since reported that Ms Lowe said she would stand by him until he was ‘settled and happy in a new relationship’ and then they would discuss an ‘amicable split’.
The presenter spent much of the coronavirus lockdown with his family, including Stephanie Lowe, at their £2million home in Henley.
SOURCE: Daily mail