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Holly Willoughby 'hasn't spoken to Phillip Schofield' but is 'saddened' to hear about his mental health struggles
3 June 2023, 10:57
Holly Willoughby has been "saddened" to hear about the mental health struggles of her former This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield, but has not spoken to him.
Schofield resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to a "consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning", which he said was "unwise, but not illegal".
The affair took place before Schofield publicly came out as gay in 2020, and while he was still married to wife Stephanie Lowe, whom he wed in 1993.
The presenter had denied the relationship when questioned by the broadcaster about rumours in 2020.
"I do not know a time I will be able to walk out of the door," he told the Sun in an interview published on Friday.
"I don't have any spirit.
"My friends tell me, 'It will get better'. It won't. Not now. Not this one."
The paper reported that Willoughby had has not spoken to Schofield, but was "saddened to see him like that", citing a source close to the presenter.
"Seeing Phil so downtrodden and in a bad way was distressing for a number of people who know him personally," the source added.
"There is a big team on This Morning and it was shocking for people to see him that way.
It is an incredibly sad situation. Phil has his daughters and friends supporting him now."
The focus for the This Morning team and Holly is to deliver the best shows they can, moving forward.
"It is what Phil wants too — he has made that clear. He loves This Morning and wants it to thrive again, despite his exit."
61-year-old Schofield said though he hasn't suffered any abuse on the street, he fears being shouted at or spat on.
"Are they spitting on me because I had an affair at work and lied about it?" he asked.
"You watch all these layers of you slide away and slide away and slide away - the things that were dear to you.
"But I deserve it. It's my fault. I deserve it."
It comes as Caroline Flack's mother begged Schofield not to do "anything silly".
Christine Flack, whose TV presenter daughter Caroline committed suicide in 2020, said: "I hate the thought that Phillip and this young man are going through such an awful time. It's bad enough when it's in private, but when it's in every single paper and first thing on the news."
Schofield added that he is getting by "hour by hour. I have got my girls and my friends."
The former presenter also insisted that he wouldn't use social media again, after being hounded online, and has deleted all apps and silenced notifications.
"Why would I ever, ever go back there?", he said.
ITV has launched an external review into Schofield's departure from This Morning after the presenter lied to his bosses, colleagues and his wife about the affair.