Phillip Schofield opens up on mental health toll following scandal, claims homophobia is fuelling outrage

Disgraced former New Zealand TV host Phillip Schofield says he has felt suicidal in the past week amid the scandal over his affair with a much younger man.

In a bombshell interview, Schofield revealed his side of the story, saying his career is over and that homophobia is fuelling a lot of the outrage over the affair.

Last month, Schofield resigned from the UK TV show This Morning after he admitted to lying to ITV, his agent, his lawyer, and his family about an affair with a young ITV employee, who was just 15 years old when the pair first met. Schofield claims his colleague was 20 years old when he first had any kind of sexual contact with him.

Despite speculation, Schofield, 61, has said he did not groom the employee and their relationship was consensual.  

The former TV show veteran insisted he did not "lie to protect" his own career but rather his colleague who had not wanted "his name in public".

In an emotional interview with the BBC released on Friday evening (NZ time), Schofield said his "career is over".

"I have lost everything," he told the news outlet.

"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 said his two daughters helped him cope with suicidal thoughts, as they were by his side every moment, too scared to let him out of their sight.

"I have lost everything."
"I have lost everything." Photo credit: Getty Images

He said he met the former colleague at an event at a drama school many years ago. The pair began communicating on Twitter after the young man asked for advice on getting into the TV industry.

When the pair met in person for the first time since the drama school event, Schofield said there was "absolutely not" any hint of sexual attraction and that their romantic interactions happened a few months after the man began working on This Morning.

He said the man never stayed at his flat, only visited it once, and denied organising the man to be moved off the show when the relationship ended.

He said there were five or six romantic encounters in total between the pair over a few months.

While Schofield admits he shouldn't have had the affair, he said much of the outrage was down to homophobia.

"I fully appreciate there is a massive age gap, but that happens in life. I think there is an enormous amount of homophobia that it happens to be male, but if it was male-female then it wouldn't be such a scandal," Schofield told the BBC.

When asked about the power imbalance between the pair, Schofield told the outlet while it could be perceived as an abuse of power, "that wasn't how it felt at the time".

Referring to his former colleague, Schofield said: "He is an innocent party here. I was older, I should have known better. [The affair] was consensual, but it was my fault."

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Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584