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What have we learned from the Phillip Schofield interviews?

The former TV presenter has given two interviews where he has denied grooming a younger male colleague he had an affair with while working on This Morning.

Disgraced TV presenter Phillip Schofield has given two interviews after it emerged he had a relationship with a much younger male colleague while presenting This Morning.

ITV has launched an external review to establish the facts around the affair between Schofield and the former TV runner – after the presenter lied to his bosses, colleagues and wife about the relationship.

In interviews published today, Schofield revealed:

• He has had suicidal thoughts since the scandal broke and likened his situation to what Caroline Flack faced before her death

• The first romantic encounter between the presenter and employee happened in Schofield’s dressing room – and the man was 20 when they first had any sexual contact

• The pair had five or six romantic encounters – Schofield denied the man was driven from ITV studios to his London home in taxis paid for by ITV

• He thinks ITV bosses should have completed a more thorough investigation in 2020

• Co-star Holly Willoughby did not know about the affair

Below we take a detailed look at what else we learned from his interviews with The Sun and the BBC.

No ‘hint of sexual attraction’ when pair first met

The 61-year-old said his affair with the former colleague, who is 30 years his junior, was “unwise, but not illegal” when he confirmed the relationship last week.

He has now told the BBC he met the young man when he was invited to a drama school event many years ago.

The man was 15 at the time.

They began communicating on Twitter after they followed each other on the platform after the event, Schofield said.

The former TV presenter added there was “absolutely not” any hint of sexual attraction when they first met.

Dressing room ‘kiss’ and grooming denial

Schofield went on to tell the BBC his first romantic encounter with the colleague took place in his This Morning dressing room when the man was 20.

“In my dressing room one day, something happened,” he said.

“I kissed someone in the workplace, which led on to a little bit more.”

In his interview with The Sun, Schofield insisted: “I did not, I did not (groom him)”.

‘There was no abuse of power’

The former This Morning presenter said in his interview with the tabloid that there are “accusations of all sorts of things” but the relationship “never came across” as an abuse of power.

“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,” he said.

“But that wasn’t how it felt at the time”, Schofield added.

‘We were not boyfriends’

Schofield has said he was never in a proper relationship with the male colleague.

He told the BBC he did not love the younger colleague, they were “not boyfriends”, and had five or six romantic encounters over a few months.

Meanwhile, Schofield told The Sun he is still friends with the former This Morning worker.

‘He came to the flat once – he didn’t stay over’

The former presenter has also denied press reports the younger colleague was driven in taxis between Schofield’s London home and the This Morning studios.

“He didn’t frequently come to my flat, he came to the flat once… to my recollection, he didn’t stay over,” he said.

‘I lied consistently’

Schofield told the BBC he “did something very wrong” and then “lied consistently”.

Asked how much his colleagues knew about the affair, Schofield said: “Nobody ever asked me about being gay. When the rumour [about the affair] got bigger, then we were both asked.”

In his interview with The Sun, he suggested he lied to bosses to protect the younger male colleague.

Schofield said: “I didn’t lie to protect my career, he didn’t want his name in public. He wanted his own life.

“The lies grew bigger and bigger and bigger and it was affecting both of us deeply.”

Schofield denies doing deal with newspaper

In his interview with the BBC, Schofield emphatically denied a claim he did a deal with a newspaper in 2019 to hide the affair.

A media outlet allegedly agreed not to write the story about the young man in return for an exclusive interview about Schofield coming out as gay.

Biggest apology goes to ‘innocent’ former lover

Schofield was “furiously vaping” when he said his “greatest apology” goes to his former lover, according to The Sun.

He said the young man has experienced the “greatest misery into his totally innocent life” since the affair was confirmed.

“I haven’t spoken to him since this s***show kicked off, but when this was all beginning to get out of control, I paid for his lawyers to independently work on his behalf.”

He added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better… I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”

Addressing allegations and rumours posted online, Schofield insisted his former lover did not receive a penny in “hush” money to prevent him from speaking out.

Meanwhile, he told the BBC: “He is an innocent party here. I was older, I should have known better. [The affair] was consensual, but it was my fault.”

Schofield also offered an apology to his former This Morning presenting partner Holly Willoughby and confirmed the pair no longer speak.

‘I have lost everything’

Schofield also talked in the interviews about how his life has changed since the rumours about his affair were confirmed.

He told the BBC he now has to “talk about television in the past tense” – suggesting his career was over – and that it “breaks my heart”.

Schofield added that he has “lost everything”.

He went on to say that he now wonders “what am I going to do with my days?”.

Schofield admitted to The Sun he has not watched a single This Morning episode since his resignation.

Suggestion homophobia has fuelled backlash

The former This Morning presenter said he felt homophobia was a factor in people who disapproved of the affair.

“If it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal,” he told the BBC.

This is how Caroline Flack felt’

Schofield also said he had suicidal thoughts and that his daughters are “scared to let me out of their sight”.

“Last week, if my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here,” he told the BBC.

He also likened his situation to what TV presenter Caroline Flack faced before she took her own life.

My wife was ‘very, very angry’

Schofield told The Sun his wife was “very, very angry” after he confessed to her about the affair and said he had previously denied the rumours to her when asked.

He said: “She got off a plane and I phoned her up and texted saying, ‘I need to talk to you’.

“She called back and I told her. She was very, very angry.”

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.

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