Former This Morning presenter, Phillip Schofield has revealed that his affair with a young studio runner began with a kiss in a dressing room before ‘five or six’ sexual encounters.
This comes days after he admitted to having an affair with a younger ITV member of staff.
Phillip has since been dropped by his talent agency YMU after the affair, which was not illegal, and has also stepped down from ITV completely – meaning he will no longer host the British Soap Awards next week.
The former This Morning host, 61, has now opened up on his sexual encounter which happened at the ITV studios when the man was 20.
Asked directly by the BBC’s Amol Rajan if he had any kind of sexual relationship when his former lover was underage, he said: ‘God no.In my statement, it says ”consensual relationship, fully legal”, I mean, that [the statement] was approved by both sides.’
Recalling how the affair began, Schofield said: ‘He’d been working at the show for a few months and we’d become mates, we were mates.
‘Around the studios, we’d hang out together, chat to each other, that sort of stuff.
‘And then in my dressing room one day something happened which obviously, I will regret forever for him and for me – mostly him.
‘That happened maybe four or five times over the next few months, and I know it’s unforgivable but we weren’t boyfriends, we weren’t in a relationship.
‘I was really in a mess with my sexuality at the time and it just happened.’
Schofield said he first started following his former lover on Twitter when he was aged 15 after he was asked to do so by a friend.
The broadcaster explained he was invited by a friend to go to a school, something he said he has done ‘thousands of times’.
He claimed he was later asked to follow ‘a fan’ back on Twitter, who was aged 15 at the time – to which the presenter agreed.
Recounting the first time they met, Schofield told Rajan: ‘I was invited by a friend of mine to go to open a drama school…
‘But whether it was immediately or sometime after, he said, ‘will you follow him on Twitter, because he’s a fan’. So I said, ‘yeah, sure, no problem’, which I did.’
Rajan added: ‘And he was what, 15 at the time?’.
Schofield said: ‘I follow 11,300 people, and in all the time I’ve been on Twitter, there has never been any whiff of impropriety.’
He went on to say the pair were ‘hardly’ in touch, but the young man had later gotten in contact to ask ‘if he could visit the studios, work experience-type of thing.
‘I said come down and have a look, for sure, which he did.’
Schofield told Rajan the man was 19 when he had first expressed interest in a television career, and when asked by Rajan if, looking back on their messages, there was ‘any sense in which you were flirting with him?’, Schofield said: ‘No it was work stuff’.
He added: ‘I’ve been in television for 41 years. Nothing like this before. No accusations.’
He strongly denied ‘grooming’ his former lover or sending him any sexual messages before the start of their relationship.
The presenter said he had not fallen in love with the man and did not feel that there was an imbalance of power because ‘we’d become mates’.
Asked what ended their relationship, he said: ‘I was at the time beginning to get into a very poor mental state with my own sexuality. And it just sort of drifted. We stayed mates, we’re still mates.
‘And I got him work and runners jobs on other shows that I did because he was a very good runner and a mate. It’s always nice to have a team around you that you know.
Schofield said the last time he interacted with his former lover was a ‘couple of weeks’ ago when he organised a lawyer for him because he needed ‘independent’ support.
He denied ever telling Holly Willoughby that he had been in a sexual relationship with the young man,
Later in the interview, Schofield told how his two daughters Molly, 29, and Ruby, 27, had ‘guarded me and won’t let me out of their sight’, adding that he had felt a ‘weird numbness’.
The broadcaster also said he had ‘lost everything’ in the wake of the revelations, admitting his ‘career is over’ and there had been a ‘catastrophic effect’ on his mind.
Schofield went on: ‘I did something very wrong and then I lied about it consistently and you can’t live with that. How do you live with that?’
The father-of-two was photographed being driven in London yesterday while sat in the back seat of a car next to a woman believed to be his daughter Ruby.
Schofield’s other daughter Molly is said to still be working for his former talent agency YMU.