Phillip Schofield insists he's not a groomer in bombshell first interview
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Phillip Schofield has revealed he is “utterly broken and ashamed” over affair with a much younger colleague but stressed he did not groom him.
The 61-year-old first met the man he would go on to have an affair with when he was invited to appear at an event at a drama school.
Last week, Schofield confessed to having an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair with his colleague while still married to his wife Stephanie Lowe.
Schofield had previously denied having an affair to numerous people including his This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby and his agent.
He told The Sun: “I did not, I did not [groom him].
“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."
Speaking about their relationship, Schofield added: “At the time I did not think about it possibly ruining my career. I really probably only thought about it when I saw the rumour mill, and saw it growing."
Schofield insisted he didn't lie about the affair to 'protect' his career and certainly didn't want the UK media to be looking into the man's life.
However, he admitted the lies 'grew bigger and bigger' and it got out of control.
Schofield said his biggest apology for the whole scandal goes to the man he had an affair with and they haven't spoken since.
The 61-year-old added: “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."
Schofield said no non-disclosure agreement was ever signed that would have prevented the man from speaking out.
He concluded: “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.”
The Sun said it had not paid for the bombshell interview.
Speaking about his former co-host Willoughby, he said the pair have broken all contact - and revealed it was his paedophile brother’s imprisonment that made her distance herself from the friendship.
Schofield said: “I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down [Holly]. I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down.
“Holly did not know [about the romance]. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.
“She didn’t reply and I understand why she didn’t reply, as well. So yeah. If anyone is in any way linking Holly to this; that is absolutely, wholly untrue."