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Updated: ITV presenter Phillip Schofield has been dropped by his agents at YMU Group.
The split from YMU comes as Schofield confirmed to the Daily Mail that he had an affair with a young ITV employee while he was still married. (The presenter came out as gay in February 2020 and is now separated from his wife.) He has now quit ITV ‘with immediate effect’ and also pulled out of hosting the British Soap Awards in June.
In a lengthy statement, Scofield said: “Contrary to speculation, while I met the man as a teenager and was asked to help him get into television, it was only after he started working on the show that it became more than a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but it wasn’t illegal.” It’s over now.”
YMU’s confirmed diverse On Friday she ‘parted company’ with Schofield, who last week relinquished hosting duties on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ after 21 years on the air. The presenter’s exit followed persistent rumors of a feud with co-host Holly Willoughby that had been linked to his younger brother’s trial for sexual assault.
Timothy Scofield was found guilty of 11 counts of child sexual abuse between 2016 and 2019, and last week was jailed for 12 years. During the trial, the court heard that Timothy Scofield had confessed his crimes to his older brother two months before the start of criminal proceedings, to which the presenter replied: “I don’t want you to tell me anymore… You have to stop, just don’t do it again.” As for how it happened, it must not happen again.”
Tabloid reports indicated that Willoughby was upset that Scofield had not discussed the matter with her, even though she had not directly addressed their problems behind the scenes. The alleged rift between the pair came as a shock to fans given their close relationship outside of work. Willoughby also supported Schofield when he came out as gay on the show in 2020, writing on Instagram, “I’ve never been more proud of my boyfriend than I am today.”
In its statement, YMU suggested it had recently learned “new information” about Schofield that prompted them to cut ties with their long-term clients. The agency did not provide further details, but news of Scofield’s admission to the affair broke within the hour in the Daily Mail.
Marie Bakhit, CEO of YMU Group said: “Honesty and integrity are core values of YMU’s entire business, and define everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.
“This week, we learned important new information about our client Philip Schofield. These facts contradict what Philip previously told YMU, as well as the outside advisors we brought in to support him. As a result, on Thursday we agreed to separate the company with Philip, with immediate effect.”
In a joint statement with diverse Through his legal representatives, Schofield said, “It is with great regret that, after 35 years of faultless management by YMU, I have agreed to step down from their representation with immediate effect.”
Schofield was replaced on “This Morning” by Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond. Willoughby will remain on the program, though she is taking a short break until returning in early June.
Read Schofield’s full statement below:
I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to which I have already personally apologized for misleading, through a lawyer who I also misled, about a story they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
The first thing I want to say is: I am terribly sorry that I lied to them, and many others about a relationship I had with someone who works this morning. I had an on and off relationship with a younger male colleague this morning.
Contrary to speculation, while I met the man as a teenager and was asked to help him get into television, it was after he started working on the show that it became more than friendship. That relationship was ill-advised, but it wasn’t illegal. It’s over now.
When I chose to go out, I did so entirely for my own well-being. Nobody “forced” me out. Neither I nor any other person, as far as I know, has ever made an injunction, excellent or otherwise, in relation to my relation to this fellow, that has not been moved or dismissed by or on my account.
In an effort to protect my ex, I haven’t been honest about the relationship. But my recent, unrelated exit this morning sparked speculation and raised questions that affected him, so it’s important for me to be honest now for his sake.
I am painfully aware that I have been lied to to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and by extension to the public and most of all to my family. I am very, very sorry, that I have been unfaithful to my wife.
I have therefore decided to forego the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and resign from ITV with immediate effect to express my immense gratitude to them for all the wonderful opportunities they have given me. I will consider my very poor judgment of being involved in the relationship and then lying about it.
To protect his privacy, I am not naming this person, and it is my hope that he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so. I now ask the media to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy be respected.