After years of speculation, has now admitted to having a relationship with a much younger man who worked as a runner on .
In a lengthy statement issued to the , the TV presenter – who stepped down from the daytime show last week – said their relationship was ‘more than a friendship’.
However, Phil, 61, insists it was ‘unwise but not illegal.’
In his statement provided to the outlet, he said the relationship occurred while Phil was still married to his wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe, the mother of his two daughters – Ruby and Molly – and before he came out as .
He also confessed that he lied about the relationship to his bosses and colleagues, resulting in him being
The statement in full reads: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.
‘When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody “forced” me out. Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me.’
He continues: ‘In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship. But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.
‘I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.’
Phil went on to say that he has which are just days away.
He’s also with ‘immediate effect’.
‘I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me,’ Phil said.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.’
The former This Morning host concluded by confirming that he will not be identifying the man he had the affair with ‘to protect his privacy’.
He said it is his ‘deepest wish’ that ‘both he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so.’
The Dancing On Ice host ended with: ‘I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.’
In a further statement, he also announced that he had agreed to end his relationship with his talent agency, YMU, after 35 years.
‘It is with the most profound regret that after 35 years of being faultlessly managed by YMU I have agreed to step down from their representation with immediate effect,’ he said.
The revelations come after Phil faced months of controversy including with his long-time co-host Holly, and a furore over his visit to the
Phil married Stephanie in 1993.
After he came out in February 2020, in an emotional on-air chat with Holly, 42, his wife told The Sun she supported his ‘brave step’ and ‘always will’ love him.
She also said: ‘Our family has also been so supportive and will help us going forward.’