ITV boss slams Phillip Schofield’s ‘deeply inappropriate’ affair
Author: Charlie Duncan
Phillip Schofield’s former boss has spoken out about the disgraced This Morning presenter’s affair with a younger male colleague, following a parliamentary inquiry into the ITV scandal.
Later in the week, Schofield admitted to having lied about having an extra-marital affair with a younger, male colleague, which he labelled “unwise, but not illegal”.
ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall, managing director Kevin Lygo and general counsel Kyla Mullins all gave evidence to MPs as part of a parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday (14 June) into the Schofield debacle and the network’s workplace culture in light of the controversy.
McCall, 61, told the Culture Media and Sport (CMS) committee that the affair between Schofield and the unnamed runner, who is being referred to as ‘Person X’ throughout proceedings, was made “deeply inappropriate” due to the “imbalance of power” and “the imbalance of dynamics” between the pair.
ITV chief executives also denied turning a “blind eye” to the affair. Mullins told the committee that Schofield repeatedly denied claims of the relationship when previously questioned, and that Person X was asked by ITV about his relationship with Schofield 12 times, and denied it each time.
McCall assured the hearing that ITV would have taken action over the relationship, but had no evidence with which to do so, even though they had “asked multiple times of both individuals both formally and informally”.
Speaking of rumours around Schofield, McCall said: “There was a lot of very very horrible stuff out there.”
She says ITV bosses had to determine whether this was simply rumours or whether it was information “we had to worry about”.
She also told the CMS committee that she first became aware of rumours after Schofield publicly came out as gay in December 2019.
“We started looking at it in December 2019, but it ramped up â¦ the noise out there ramped up in February 2020,” McCall said.
“We worked very very hard, for many many months in fact, until recently to ask people, not just Phillip Schofield and Person X, but people in production, if they knew something was going on.
“It was repeatedly denied by both individuals, but also no one in the team said there was anything that they could say â¦ in fact most of them said ‘we don’t know what’s going on’.”
McCall concluded that launching a formal investigation “with no legal reason” could have caused “a huge amount of damage”.
“If we’d had any formal evidence we’d have done an investigation,” she continued. “It’s not in our interest in any way not to investigate something that we know has evidence to support it.”
McCall confirmed that Schofield has been “receiving counselling” since his exit from ITV and she is “very concerned” about his welfare. She also stated that there is “no gagging order or NDA” placed on Person X to prevent him from speaking about the situation.
Since the scandal, Schofield has been dropped as an ambassador for Prince’s Trust, his former co-host Holly Willoughby has said she felt “let down” by lies over the affair, and ITV have confirmed that they have instructed a barrister to lead an external review of the scandal.
A representative for Phillip Schofield told PinkNews that the former This Morning presenter will not be adding to his previous statements.
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Charlie Duncan