Schofield: I knew I was gay when I got married 27 years ago
Phillip Schofield has admitted he knew he was gay when he got married in 1993, and tried to suppress his sexuality until his bombshell announcement.
The popular television presenter came out in an emotional statement posted on Instagram on Friday morning, followed by an appearance on ITV’s This Morning when he was interviewed by his co-host Holly Willoughby.
Schofield said on the programme that he felt “guilty” about the “pain” and “upset” he had caused his family, but has admitted he had tried to “suppress” his sexuality throughout his marriage to wife Stephanie Lowe.
He told The Sun On Sunday: “I admit I was perhaps a bit naive. But when we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head. I was so, so happy when we had the girls, and then bringing them up.”
The 57-year-old, who has received widespread support from fellow celebrities since his announcement, said he thought he might be bisexual until he “realised and started coming to terms” with being gay.
Schofield added: “I realised I had to be honest with myself.”
He told the paper his decision to come out came amid “the most emotionally painful time” in his 27 years of marriage, during which he and his wife have had two daughters – Molly and Ruby.
Schofield has praised and thanked his wife and children for their support, with his daughters speaking of their pride on their Instagram stories and his mother Pat, 83, hailing his decision to come out as “inspiring”.
Of his This Morning and Dancing On Ice co-host, Schofield said: “Holly has been incredible, so supportive, so kind.”
Schofield told the newspaper that his wife had known he was gay “for a while” and insisted that he loved her just as much as when they first met.
He said: “Steph is my closest confidante. She’s been amazing. I have no secrets from Steph. We have been very truthful and honest. She has known for a while. When you live with someone you know these things don’t you?
“We sat down and we talked and then she left me to have space. I don’t know what it would have been like if I had a different person in my life.”
He added: “That is what makes this so hard – knowing you are hurting the perfect person.”
Schofield said he did not know if his marriage would last, and declined to say if he was in a relationship with a man.