Phillip Schofield first met the younger ITV colleague whom he later had an affair with when he was aged 15, according to The Mail On Sunday.
The veteran TV presenter, 61, resigned from the broadcaster on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a young male colleague on This Morning.
Lawyers representing Schofield have confirmed they met when the boy was 15, but said the affair began after he started working at ITV, and the man’s lawyers have also confirmed this.
In a statement on Friday, Schofield said the man was a teenager when they were introduced, and he was asked to help him get into television but underlined that it was a number of years later when he joined the show as an adult that their affair began.
The Mail On Sunday reported the pair first met when Schofield was giving a talk at a theatre school when the TV presenter was in his late 40s.
It said some years later the younger man joined the production team on This Morning when Schofield was in his early 50s and their relationship developed from a friendship to an affair.
The newspaper also said Schofield confirmed the affair after the young man revealed details about the relationship to his lawyers.
It comes after ITV said it investigated “rumours of a relationship” between Schofield and the ITV employee around three years ago but that both parties “categorically and repeatedly denied” it.
A spokesperson for ITV said on Saturday the broadcaster was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” when it looked into the matter in 2020.“
Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship”, they added.
The broadcaster also said it was “deeply disappointed” by the “admissions of deceit” by Schofield after he spoke publicly about the affair.“
The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust,” a statement from a spokesperson for ITV added.
“Phillip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.”
This Morning will air on Monday, ITV said, and denied the show’s future is the show’s future is in question, with reports claiming it could potentially be axed entirely.
An ITV spokesperson told the PA news agency: “As we said on the record yesterday, This Morning is not under review and there’s no plans for the show to be axed. This Morning will return as normal tomorrow.”
With Holly Willoughby on half-term holiday leave, Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will continue to fill in for them, including when the Monday show airs at 10am.
Willoughby said her former This Morning co-host’s admission about the affair was “very hurtful” as he had previously denied it to her as well.
It’s taken time to process yesterday’s news,” Willoughby wrote on an Instagram story posted on Saturday
“When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not.
“It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie.”
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