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Phillip Schofield and Kerry Katona’s clash on This Morning in 2008
The axed This Morning host, 61, who has been in hiding since the scandal broke shared his side of the story in a new interview.
Phillip Schofield has spoken out for the first time as the presenter admitted he is “utterly broken and ashamed”.
The former ITV broadcaster previously admitted his relationship with a young male was consensual and has now insisted he did not groom his ex-colleague.
Phillip was said to be visibly shaken as he addressed the controversy surrounding his exit from This Morning.
Speaking in a new interview with The Sun, he insisted: “I did not, I did not (groom him).”
READ MORE: Phillip Schofield’s wife left ‘devastated’ by affair news as she ‘had no idea’
Phillip Schofield has stepped down from ITV
Phillip went on: “There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way (an abuse of power) 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.
“I assume somebody, somewhere, assumed something was going on, correctly, and didn’t say anything.
“At the time I did not think about it possibly ruining my career.”
Phillip Schofield has now issued an apology to his ex-lover
Phillip Schofield with his estranged wife Stephanie Lowe
The ex-ITV star admitted he only thought it would be an issue when he saw the “rumour mill”, most notably on social media where people linked him to a “drama school photo” alongside the young colleague.
Phil insisted he did not “lie” in a bid to save his career but to protect the identity of his former lover.
He explained the “lies got deeper and deeper” and got to the stage where it was “out of control”.
Phil has now issued an apology to the young colleague as he shared his regret.
Phillip Schofield issued a public apology
He commented: “I think my greatest apology must go to him.
“It has brought the greatest misery into his totally innocent life, his totally innocent family, his totally innocent friends. It has brought the greatest grief to them.”
Phil added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better. I should have acted the way I have always acted. I should not have done it.
“I’m sorry. And I will forever be sorry. I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”
Phil and Holly were accused of queue jumping
In a lengthy statement issued on Friday 26 May, Phil admitted to “lying” about an affair with a This Morning employee and added he is “deeply sorry”.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has been summoned to Parliament to be grilled on safeguarding.
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee wants to quiz the ITV boss next Wednesday.
Phil came out live on air in February 2020 and was met with a wave of support, including from his family.
Phil and Holly’s relationship has become strained
Phil also spoke candidly about his fraught relationship with his former This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby but insisted there is no feud between them.
He did, however, confirm their relationship is no longer what it was and she did not respond to a text message he had sent to her.
The former This Morning presenter said he has “lost his best friend” but insisted Holly was not aware of his romance with the young colleague.
Previous reports suggested the pair’s feud stemmed from “Queuegate” where the duo were accused of jumping the queue to see the late Queen lying in state last September.
But despite the furore over claims they jumped the queue it was actually the conviction of his disgraced brother Timothy – which drove them apart.
Phil also insisted there was “no jumping the queue”.
He said: “So we are forever now (associated)… it doesn’t matter now because I’m not going to go out any more … but forever now, you go to the butchers and someone says, ‘Oh do you want to (skip ahead)…?’ ‘No, no, I’ll stand here.’ I’m serious.
“I don’t ever throw anyone under the bus, but I have a very good instinct for these things and I knew it was a bad thing to do.”