Phillip Schofield’s faithful wife is both enraged and devastated by his admission that he had an affair with a much younger colleague during their marriage.
Friends say Stephanie Lowe, the mother of the presenter’s two adult daughters, had no idea he was in a relationship because Schofield had always described the man as a friend and colleague.
It may also be revealed that the former This Morning star’s eldest daughter, Molly, only found out about her father’s statement to the Daily Mail in which he admitted lying about the man’s relationship just minutes before the story became known.
Friends say she was working at YMU, the talent agency Schofield represented for 35 years, when she found out.
The staff there said she was in such a state of shock that she had to be comforted before going home.
Phillip Schofield’s faithful wife is both enraged and devastated by his admission that he had an affair with a much younger colleague during their marriage. Above: Philip Schofield and wife Stephanie Lowe are seen with their daughters Ruby and Molly at the 2018 premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Schofield is seen with his lover and Holly Willoughby, his former This Morning co-host
Miss Schofield, 27, is said to have then traveled to Cornwall to join her father after he fled London following his announcement that he was quitting This Morning nearly two weeks ago.
Schofield, 61, was photographed today arriving at his home in west London after the break alongside his youngest daughter Ruby as the future of the show he hosted for 21 years hangs in the balance amid claims of toxicity and bullying behind the scenes.
It is the first time he has been seen since photos emerged of him with his mother Pat on the day his brother Timothy was sentenced to 12 years in prison on 11 counts of child sexual abuse.
Until last month, Schofield and his wife were close and in April they even attended television star Leigh Francis’ 50th birthday party together.
The presenter has even worn his wedding ring despite coming out as gay more than three years ago.
Friends say Stephanie Lowe (pictured), the mother of the presenter’s two adult daughters, had no idea he was in a relationship, as Schofield had always described the man as a friend and colleague.
Schofield with his wife Stephanie and their daughters Ruby and Molly
Until last month, Schofield and his wife were close. Above the couple at the English National Opera in 2019
However, a source told the Mail: ‘Steph is absolutely devastated, she had no idea about this. She is a trusting woman who has supported Phil for many, many years, so this was a real shock to her.
“Phil always positioned the guy as a friend, so that has provoked quite a bit of anger to say the least.
“It’s literally the most heartbreaking thing that could have happened to Steph. It’s not just the relationship but the cheating.”
Friends of Schofield say he was supported by his daughters after his admission that he lied to The Mail on Sunday about his relationship with the man.
There was no mention of Mrs Lowe, 59, being with him.
Earlier this week, Eamonn Holmes claimed that Schofield and the much younger colleague would have “playtime on Thursdays” and that the host would get him taxis from his central London flat to the This Morning studios.
In his fawning apology last Friday, Schofield confirmed that he had lied to his wife and apologized profusely to her.
He said he was “painfully aware” that he had lied to many people, “most important of all to my family,” adding: “I’m very sorry, just like being unfaithful to my wife been’.
The couple married in March 1993 after meeting when Schofield was working in children’s television and she was a BBC production assistant.
In February 2020, the presenter told his Instagram followers about his sexuality and said he has the support of his wife and daughters.
‘You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what problems they’re struggling with, or how their well-being is – so you don’t know what’s been on my mind for the past few years.
“With the strength and support of my wife and daughters, I’ve been able to accept that I’m gay.”
Phillip Schofield can be seen in London for the first time since leaving ITV and This Morning today
Schofield leaves The Ivy Club with his much younger ex-lover in 2017
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby at a live whiskey tasting on This Morning. The young man with whom he had an affair is standing behind him dressed as an elf
Phillip on the set of This Morning shaking hands with the man he had an affair with
He said: ‘[There were] many hours of talking with Steph and cuddling Steph. We’ve talked through the whole thing. There were no secrets, there never were any secrets. What I knew, she knew. It’s not in my nature to hurt people.’
Meanwhile, ITV bosses are said to be ‘frozen’ on what will come out in the external inquiry they announced on Wednesday, which will be carried out by top London lawyer Jane Mulcahy KC.
A senior boss at the channel said Schofield’s relationship with his former colleague was “just the tip of the iceberg.”
They would also be afraid of what the public thinks of the age difference between the men, which is more than 30 years. They are also deeply concerned that Schofield’s lover will speak out about the romance.
A source told the Mail: ‘So many things have happened and they just have to be documented, so there will be a paper trail.
“There are many people who are very concerned.”