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02nd Jun 2023

Phillip Schofield brands age gap backlash as ‘homophobia’ in tell-all interview

Clodagh McKeon

‘We did first meet when he was 15, I visited the drama school (he attended)’

Phillip Schofield has spoken out about his affair with a younger male colleague and said although he is “utterly broken and ashamed” he did not groom him.

In a tell-all interview with The Sun, Schofield labeled the backlash over the age gap between himself and his former lover as “homophobia”.

He compared his relationship to Leonardo Di Caprios’ previous relationships – the actor famously doesn’t date anyone over 25 – and said it’s “accepted” by him.

During the interview, the former This Morning host said: “There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.

“But of course, I understand that there will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that anywhere else.”

Schofield also told the newspaper he did not “lie to protect” his career, but the colleague “didn’t want his name in public”.

When asked about grooming rumours, Schofield started by sending a deep apology to his ex-lover who says this whole situation has brought “greatest misery into his totally innocent life”.

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

Schofield told The Sun: “We did first meet when he was 15, I visited the drama school (he attended).

“So yeah, there’s a difference. It’s accepted by Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not accepted if it’s in the gay world.

“Attraction is attraction. It’s no different in the gay world as it is in the heterosexual world or in the lesbian world. There shouldn’t be a difference. This is where homophobia comes in.”

He explained that people have relationships with others of different ages, but conceded his affair doesn’t look good: “Yes, I see what it looks like from the outside world. I just want to apologise to everyone.

“I did not, I did not (groom him).”

An external investigation into ITV and the facts behind Schofield’s exit is about to get underway with co-stars Holly Willougby, Alison Hammond, and Dermot O’Leary expected to be questioned.

Former This Morning host, Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford may also be interviewed as part of the review.

Willoughby is due back on This Morning this Monday, June 5th but rumours have circulated that the star will not return to her role.

Related links:

Phillip Schofield says his career is over and he’s ‘lost everything’

This Morning ‘facing the axe’ following Phillip Schofield affair scandal

ITV issues statement amid claims Holly Willoughby was involved in Phillip Schofield’s exit

Phillip Schofield ‘approached by BBC show’ after This Morning exit