…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
Phillip Schofield, the former presenter of This Morning, has announced his cooperation with an external review commissioned by ITV.
The review aims to investigate the facts surrounding his affair with a former colleague from the show.
Schofield, who recently resigned from ITV, admitted to having an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.
In response to the controversy, ITV’s CEO Dame Carolyn McCall has written a letter to Parliament, revealing the company’s commitment to conducting an external review and addressing concerns about safeguarding and complaint-handling procedures.
Denial of Knowledge about the Relationship:
During an interview with the BBC’s Amol Rajan, Schofield stated that, to his knowledge, nobody on his team was aware of his relationship.
He emphasized that he did not believe anyone knew, but acknowledged the damaging consequences that can arise when workplace affairs are kept secret.
Schofield admitted that workplace flings often lead to lies and rumors, which eventually become a cataclysm of deception.
Compliance with the External Review:
When asked whether he would cooperate with the external review commissioned by ITV, Schofield simply replied, “Yeah.”
This indicates his willingness to participate in the investigation into the situation.
ITV’s Investigation and Continued Denials:
According to the letter sent by ITV to Parliament, the company had investigated rumors about Schofield’s relationship with an employee in late 2019/early 2020.
Both parties involved were questioned, and they repeatedly denied the rumors.
ITV also consulted other staff members from This Morning and the wider Daytime team, finding no evidence of the relationship beyond hearsay and rumor.
Despite ongoing rumors, both Schofield and the employee continued to deny the allegations, including as recently as this month.
Questioning the Validity of the Investigation:
Schofield confirmed that he and his former lover were questioned by ITV about their relationship.
When asked if he considered the investigation to be a “sham,” he responded by stating that if two people involved in the affair were lying, there was little that could be done.
He suggested that considering the strong denial from both parties, a formal investigation would have been challenging.
Refuting Claims of Manipulation and Abuse of Power:
Schofield strongly denied allegations that he had spoken to anyone at ITV about moving his younger colleague to another program.
He stated that the employee had applied and secured a job on Loose Women based on his own merits, and Schofield played no role in the decision.
Regarding claims of abusing his power in the workplace, Schofield asserted that he had never engaged in such behavior and that he was not a bully.
He highlighted the positive feedback he had received from colleagues as evidence of his character.
ITV’s External Review and Intentions for Change:
In the letter to Parliament, Dame Carolyn stated that ITV had engaged Jane Mulcahy KC from Blackstone Chambers to review records and interview relevant individuals.
The review will also evaluate existing processes and policies, with the intention of making any necessary changes or improvements.
Parliament’s Involvement and Focus on Safeguarding:
Dame Caroline Dinenage, chairwoman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, emphasized that the questioning of ITV executives in relation to Schofield’s departure is not a witch hunt.
She clarified that the committee is primarily concerned with issues of safeguarding and complaint-handling raised by this incident.
The duty of care towards staff, especially in public service broadcasting, is deemed of utmost importance by the committee.
The case has brought attention to potential abuses of power and workplace culture within the industry.