Holly Willoughby to address Phillip Schofield affair furore with ‘honest’ statement

Holly Willoughby wears a black dress as she stands alongside Phillip Schofield in front of a purple background

Holly Willoughby will share an “honest and open” statement addressing the controversy surrounding her former This Morning host Phillip Schofield when she returns to the show. 

Schofield quit ITV and admitted to having an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague who worked on This Morning

The news saw the veteran broadcaster fall from grace in the British media, dumped by his talent agency and dropped as Prince’s Trust ambassador.

Willoughby, who has been off work for two weeks as the controversy unfolded, has prepared a statement in which she will reportedly tell viewers how difficult the period has been when she returns to This Morning on Monday (5 June). 

A TV source told The Sun that Willoughby wanted to “address Phillip’s recent admissions about his affair” and that it will happen at the “very beginning of Monday’s show”. 

“She will be honest and open, mentioning him by name,” the source said. “She’s not shying away from the tricky subject as she wants to show up for the viewers and loyal fans.”

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The source continued: “Even though Holly has been on holiday with her family, she has been thinking about it a lot and tried to process the dramatic turn of events.

“She has thought about what she will say and written it in advance, taking her time to get the words right. It’s not something she’s being forced to do.

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“It won’t be an easy moment for her, and she knows she could get emotional, but she thinks it’s the right thing to do and wants to speak about it in an honest way.”

Holly Willoughby wears a black dress as she stands alongside Phillip Schofield as they stand in front of a blue background
Holly Willoughby was ‘really upset to hear that’ Phillip Schofield has felt suicidal amid the backlash over his affair, a TV source said. (Getty)

The source added that Holly Willoughby was “really upset to hear that” Phillip Schofield has felt suicidal amid the backlash and that she “doesn’t want him to be in any pain so she will choose her words carefully and deliver them in a sensitive manner”. 

Schofield said in an emotional interview with the BBC that the media coverage of his affair had been “relentless”. He admitted the fallout from the scandal had a “catastrophic effect” on his mind and left him with suicidal thoughts.

In her first and only statement after Schofield’s confession, Willoughby wrote on Instagram that she asked Schofield directly if there was any truth behind the reports of his relationship with the younger male colleague when they first surfaced. 

She was “told it was not” true. 

“It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie,” Willoughby said. 

Phillip Schofield confessed that Holly Willoughby didn’t know about the affair and apologised for lying to his former co-host, who he described as his “TV sister”, during an interview with The Sun.

“I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down,” he said. “I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down.”

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Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

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