Phillip Schofield has been accused by Eamonn Holmes of using his coming out episode on This Morning as a means to “cover-up” his affair with a much younger male.
The now disgraced broadcaster appeared on This Morning alongside his co-presenter Holly Willoughby to make the announcement in 2020 while Holmes presented the show alongside his wife, Ruth Langsford.
Holmes blasted his former ITV colleague during an exclusive GB News interview with Dan Wootton, saying the whole saga made him feel "used".
It comes after Phillip Schofield resigned from ITV and was dropped by his talent agency, YMU, after admitting to the “unwise, but not illegal” affair, having previously denied it.
Phillip Schofield has quit ITVPA
Speaking on GB News, Holmes said: “It was all a bit weird. At that stage though, I believed he was gay and that's what was coming out and that was the information we were given.
“We were lied to. Ruth and I to this day are embarrassed and ashamed when we see those pictures, when we see the toils that some people who are tortured by their sexuality have to go through and this man was using this as a cover-up for something else.
“So we feel angry about that, we feel used.”
Schofield had previously denied accusations of an affair with a much younger male colleague, something his former co-presenter Holly Willoughby says is “very hurtful”.
Willoughby said in an Instagram story on Saturday that Schofield’s denial “was a lie”.
“It’s taken time to process yesterday’s news,” Willoughby posted.
“When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not.
“It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie.”
A spokesperson for ITV said on Saturday that the broadcaster was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” when it looked into the matter in 2020.
“ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated”, the statement read.
“Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
Eamonn says he and his wife, Ruth Langsford, regret the show
“Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”
The affair was taking place behind the scenes at the time of Schofield’s coming out.
Eamonn Holmes revealed he and Langsford had been kept in the dark over the 61-year-old’s decision to come out as gay on their show.
He told Dan Wootton: “We're not informed of this in advance. So we were taken for fools.
Phillip Schofield had a well-known reputation in the TV industryITV
“So we get there and Ruth is constantly asked by Emma Gormley, the director of daytime, and Martin Fazal, the editor of the program, ‘Do you want us to write something for you? Do you want a script? Do you want to say this? What are you going to say? Are you sure? Are you sure about what you're going to say?’
“We began to feel there was a certain line being patted here.”
Holmes added that despite the fact it was him presenting the show alongside his wife, it soon became clear that it was “not their show”.
He said: “I’m sure they’d rehearsed it for days as to what they were going to say and do and who was going to hug and Holly was very specific about where she sat, where Phillip sat, where Ruth sat, where I sat, it was all choreographed.
“The story was sold to the Sun newspaper, The head of the Director of Programs, Kevin Lygo was there from ITV, the director of daytime Emma Gormley, was there.
“Martin Frizzell was there, the editor, the agents and James Grant from YMU was there for all of this.
“We began to feel this is not our show at all.”
In a statement published by the Daily Mail last week, Schofield apologised for lying about the relationship and the anguish it has caused many, including his ex-wife.
Following Schofield’s confession, a spokesperson for ITV said on Friday the broadcaster was “deeply disappointed” by the “admissions of deceit”.
“The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust,” they added.
“Phillip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.”