Piers Morgan has questioned the “relentless persecution” of Phillip Schofield after he admitted to having an affair with a younger colleague on This Morning.
On Friday (2 June), the former This Morning host, 61, sat down with the BBC to discuss the scandal surroudning his relationship with an ITV employee working on the daytime series.
Schofield’s admission, which was revealed in a statement last month, saw him dropped by his agents of more than 30 years, YMU. He has since resigned from ITV. Speaking to the BBC, he said he has had suicidal thoughts since sharing the news.
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Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Unless Phillip Schofield’s ex-lover contradicts his version of events to The Sun [and the] BBC, then it’s time to stop this relentless persecution of a guy who’s lost everything and looks right on the edge to me.”
The former Good Morning Britain host continued: “He doesn’t seem to have committed any crime, and he’s not a [government] minister.”
Morgan previously defended Schofield before he admitted to the affair, after he announced he was stepping down from his role on This Morning.
In an op-ed for The Sun, he said he found the aftermath of Schofield’s exit “brutal to watch” and yet “entirely unsurprising”.
“One minute Schofield was the undisputed king of morning TV and fast heading to bona fide national treasure status – the next he’s a dethroned, shamed, vilified, national disgrace and social media laughing stock,” he wrote.
“Phillip’s not the evil monster he’s being painted as, nor is he the angel his previously halo-clad reputation suggested.
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“One thing’s for sure, what’s happened to him is further evidence that the abyss-like depths of ruthless backstabbing in the world of daytime television makes even the seething cesspit of Westminster politics seem like an oasis of loyalty by comparison.”
On Friday, presenter Alison Hammond broke down in tears while discussing Schofield’s BBC interview on This Morning.
“I’m just finding it really painful,” she said. “Obviously, I loved Phillip Schofield and it’s weird because I still love Phillip Schofield.
In his interview, Schofield said that he believe shis career is over, stating: “I am done. I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart.”
He also said the “relentless” reports about him are having a “catastrophic effect” on his mind, stating: “Do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am. I have lost everything.”
Find the five biggest revelations from Schofield’s first televised post-scandal interview here.
Schofield, who said he believes his career is “done”, also shared with The Sun a text that he sent Willoughby in the immediate aftermath of his statement that revealed the affair.
It was revealed on Friday (2 June) that Willoughby will be returning to This Morning in Monday (5 June) with a brand new co-host.
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If you are experiencing feelings of distress, or are struggling to cope, you can speak to the Samaritans, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.
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