Kerry Katona reacts to Phillip Schofield interview after ITV 'toxic' claims06/02/2023
Kerry Katona has weighed in on Phillip Schofield’s on-camera BBC interview after saying she was ‘left suicidal’ by This Morning.
The Atomic Kitten singer previously blasted ITV for being ‘toxic’ and having a ‘lack of’ aftercare and branded Schofield ‘belittling’ when she broke her silence on his affair scandal.
The former Dancing On Ice presenter, 61, quit the broadcaster earlier this week with ‘immediate effect’ after confessing to an ‘unwise but not illegal’ romance with a young runner.
Schofield, who shares daughters Molly and Ruby with his wife Stephanie Lowe, has since given two interviews about the affair, telling the BBC’s Amol Rajan on Friday: ‘Last week, if my daughters hadn’t been there then I wouldn’t be here.’
He added: ‘I think I understand how Caroline Flack felt.’
Love Island host Flack was found dead in February 2020 at the age of 40, and a coroner later ruled she died by suicide after learning that prosecutors were going to press ahead with an assault charge following an incident with her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
Posting a clip of the segment of Schofield’s interview during which he discussed the support of his daughters who ‘won’t let me out of their sight’, Katona wrote: ‘This is exactly how I felt after the interview he did with me! If I didn’t have my children I’d of killed myself #fact! Things need to change drastically at ITV!!
She continued: ‘Nobody reach out to me after the interview or asked me what bipolar was, or what medication I was on.!’
Referencing the suicides of former Love Island stars Flack, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, Katona added: ‘4 people from Love Island have killed themselves, including Caroline Flack!
‘To EVERYONE who’s is involved with this a really hope that they are ALL getting the right support!!!’
ITV has duty of care protocols in place for Islanders, who each undergo thorough pre-filming psychological and medical assessment and must disclose relevant medical history.
The cast are also supported during the show by mental health professionals, and the senior team on the ground have received training in mental health first aid.
Phillip Schofield’s tell-all interview: The key points
Phillip Schofield bared all in interviews with The Sun and BBC amid the fallout of confessing to an affair with a This Morning runner. Here is what he said:
‘I did not groom him’
Schofield insists he is not a groomer, saying that while he met the former colleague while he was a teenager, their interactions were innocent and only became sexual when the runner was around 20/21 years old.
He said it never felt like an ‘abuse of power’ because they were ‘mates’.
The affair began in 2017
He has said that the affair began after a ‘consensual moment’ in his dressing room.
‘It was not a love affair, it was not a relationship, we were not boyfriends; we were mates,’ he insisted. ‘It wasn’t feelings (I was getting), it was more like mates: excitement.’
His wife is ‘very, very angry’
The affair took place while Schofield was married to wife Stephanie Lowe, with whom he shares two daughters.
On the moment he told his wife, he said: ‘She got off a plane and I phoned her up and texted saying, “I need to talk to you”. She called back and I told her. She was very, very angry.’
Schofield still wears his wedding ring, but explained that he and Stephanie are ‘separated’.
His daughters saved his life
Schofield confessed to feeling suicidal amid the fallout of his affair and the ‘relentless’ media attention.
His two daughters – Molly, 29, and Ruby, 27 – have been ‘afraid’ to leave his side and warned him: ‘Don’t you dare do this on our watch.’
‘If it hadn’t been for my girls last week, I wouldn’t be here.’
He has apologised to Holly Willoughby
After rumours of a fallout between the pair and after Holly Willoughby said she was lied to by Schofield after asking him about his affair, he has apologised to his former co-presenter.
He said: ‘I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down (Holly). I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down.
‘Holly did not know (about the romance). And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, “I am so, so sorry that I lied to you”.’
He will ‘die sorry’ to the runner he had the affair with
‘I have massive guilt, and regret. I’ve made a mistake, I’ve had an affair at work. I think my greatest apology must go to him. It has brought the greatest misery into his totally innocent life, his totally innocent family, his totally innocent friends.
‘It has brought the greatest grief to them.’
The colleague has not been named in the press for his privacy.
Schofield denied allegations that the runner received hush money from ITV, saying the promotion he got wasn’t to ‘move him on’ but because of his own talents.
He also insisted that the young man did not sign an NDA preventing him from speaking out.
Comparing age gap backlash to ‘homophobia’
‘So yeah, there’s a difference. It’s accepted by Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s not accepted if it’s in the gay world,’ he said of age differences.
‘Attraction is attraction. It’s no different in the gay world as it is in the heterosexual world or in the lesbian world. There shouldn’t be a difference. This is where homophobia comes in.’
Eamonn Holmes is an ‘angry’ man
After Eamonn Holmes made a series of strong allegations against Schofield, he said the Irish TV presenter is just ‘angry’ he’s not on This Morning anymore.
He also continuously denied that This Morning is ‘toxic’.
Doesn’t think he’ll work in TV again
Schofield said it ‘breaks [my] heart’ to talk about TV in the past tense, but he doesn’t see a way back for him.
‘I do not think I will be able to walk down a street ever again. It is like everybody knows.
‘I’ve lost everything. It’s all gone,’ he said frankly.
‘Telly was my safe space, the one thing I loved. Now I don’t know if I will ever work on telly again.’
The welfare team will keep in touch for at least 14 months and islanders will partake in a minimum of eight therapy sessions, with additional help provided where applicable.
Katona previously said in 2018 her interview on This Morning ‘destroyed her career.’
‘I think for so long the mental health stigma, it’s still a taboo really. That was down to my pure medication.
‘I’ll admit I’ve done drugs in the past, I’ve done the drink, I’ve done all that.’
‘But that was my bipolar medication and to this day I’m still trying to get TV companies, producers to try and trust in me again because of my mental health illness.’
ITV is due to carry out an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Schofield’s exit after he resigned from the channel due to lying about his affair to colleagues and bosses.
The broadcaster has instructed a barrister to conduct an external review of the facts, saying they take the matter ‘extremely seriously’ amid rumours of a ‘cover-up’ of Schofield’s behaviour.
Editor Martin Frizell later confirmed that the findings of the investigation will be released publicly.
Schofield’s lawyer declined to comment. Metro.co.uk has also reached out to ITV.
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