Holly Willoughby says she feels ‘let down’ in emotional statement on Phillip Schofield affair
Holly Willoughby has said she’s been left “shaken, troubled, let down” in the wake of the Phillip Schofield scandal.
The presenter returned to This Morning for the first time since news of his affair with a younger male colleague broke on Monday (5 June) joined by temporary co-host Josie Gibson.
“Feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil, and I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have: shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the well being of people on all sides of what’s been going on and full of questions,” the 42-year-old said.
Schofield left This Morning with “immediate effect” on 20 May after more than 20 years due to an alleged on-going feud with Willoughby.
However, just days later, he admitted to an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a much-younger male colleague.
The star was subsequently dropped by his agent and lost a gig presenting The British Soap Awards.
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Rumours of the affair had swirled for years and ITV claimed it had previously investigated the claims and found no evidence of the relationship.
She went on to say the team at This Morning gave their “love and support” to someone who was “not telling the truth” and “acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV and stepped down from a career that they loved”.
“That is a lot to process,” Holly Willoughby added.
It is “equally hard”, the star said, to see the “toll” the scandal has taken on Schofield’s mental health.
“I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and well being of everyone.
“I hope that as we start this new chapter, and get back to the place of wants and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can find strength in each other.
“And from my heart can I just say thank you for all of your kind messages and thank you for being here This Morning,” she said.
She went on to say that the presenters of the show and everyone who works on it will “continue to work hard every single day to bring into the show that we love”.
Willoughby and Gibson proceeded to share a hug, with Gibson saying “well, all we can do now to be the family that we are”.
This Morning rocked by claims of “toxicity”
Following news of Schofield’s affair, former presenters hit out at the ITV show, saying the environment on set was “toxic”.
Eamonn Holmes who formerly presented the show alongside Schofield claimed to GB News’ Dan Wootton that the scandal was a “total cover-up” by the broadcaster.
In a bombshell interview, he said: “Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this which they do, do constantly.”
Holmes used the interview was an opportunity to hit back at Schofield, who shared a post on this Instagram story where he claimed there was “no toxicity” on the This Morning set and everyone was “family”.
“I think Phillip is absolutely right about toxicity.
“But my friend, the toxicity is not with me, Dan Wootton, or anyone else, the toxicity is with you,” he said.
Former This Morning medical expert Dr Ranj Singh also aired his concern about the culture on the show.
Taking to social media, he said he shared his concerns about Schofield with ITV bosses and was used “less and less” following this.
“Over time, I grew increasingly worried about things behind the scenes and how people, including myself, were being treated. I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip, but I do know the issues with This Morning go far beyond him.
“It takes more than one person to create a culture,” he said in a Twitter statement.
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