Phillip Schofield says his career is over and denies being a ‘groomer’
Author: Christobel Hastings
In a tell-all interview with BBC News, former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield described how he has “lost everything” in the wake of his affair with a younger male colleague.
Phillip Schofield says he has “lost everything” and sees no future for his career following the revelation that he had an affair with a younger male colleague during his time on This Morning.
In an emotional interview with BBC News, the former ITV presenter told Amol Rajan that the fallout from the scandal had a “catastrophic effect” on his mind and left him with suicidal thoughts.
“Do you want me to die?” he said “Because that’s where I am.
“It is relentless, and it is day after day, after day after day. If you don’t think that that is going to have the most catastrophic effect on someone’s mind… do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am.”
In his first sit-down interview since leaving ITV and This Morning, Schofield said that he was “desperately sorry” and urged the media to leave his former lover “alone now”.
“There is an innocent person here who didn’t do anything wrong, who is vulnerable and probably feels like I do. And I just have to say stop with him, OK with me, but stop with him. Leave him alone now.”
Looking exhausted and shaken, the 61-year-old presenter denied accusations that he “groomed” his younger colleague, whom he met during a school visit when the boy in question was 15.
While admitting that the affair was a “grave error”, Schofield emphasised that the pair were “not boyfriends” and that his colleague was 20 years old when he first had any kind of sexual contact with him at ITV.
“He is an innocent party here. I was older, I should have known better. [The affair] was consensual, but it was my fault.”
The first romantic encounter with the man, Schofield explained, took place in his ITV dressing room, while the affair amounted to “five or six” romantic encounters over a few months.
Following the controversy, Schofield said his career in television was in ruins. “I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart,” he said.
“What am I going to do with my days? I see nothing ahead of me but blackness, and sadness, and regret, and remorse, and guilt. I did something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently.”
Schofield resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to the “unwise but not illegal” relationship.
ITV has ordered a review into Phillip Schofield’s departure from This Morning, while Dame Carolyn McCall has written to the culture secretary and Ofcom about the presenter’s departure from This Morning.
Schofield also denied there had ever been a “feud” between him and his former co-presenter and “TV sister” Holly Willoughby, and shared the text he sent her after admitting to the affair.
“The last time we had a conversation was when I texted Holly and said, ‘Don’t reply’ – this was after the statement last week – ‘Don’t reply, you’re probably not allowed to, but I am deeply deeply sorry that I lied to you,’” he said.
Schofield said he’d received no reply from Willoughby, who is due to resume presenting duties on This Morning on Monday after the half-term break.
The former Dancing on Ice presenter also credited his daughters with “saving his life” as he battled with suicidal thoughts in recent days.
“My girls saved my life. They said last week, they hadn’t left me for a moment. They’ve been by my side every moment because they’re scared to let me out of their sight. What is that like, for daughters to have to go through something like that?
“They said to me, ‘Don’t you dare do this on our watch. We’re supposed to be looking after you.’ And if my girls hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here, because I don’t see a future. And so how much do you want a man to take, and are you truly only happy when he’s dead?”
Schofield went on to say that his “greatest apology” over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover and that he would “die sorry” for what he had done.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in America can contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by texting 988 (988lifeline.org).
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Christobel Hastings