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Phillip Schofield knew he was gay when he married his wife, says he was ‘naive’ to hide it

Emma Powys Maurice February 9, 2020
Schofield

Phillip Schofield and his wife Stephanie at the National Television Awards at the O2 Arena on January 22, 2014 (David M. Benett/Getty)

In his only interview since coming out on Friday, Phillip Schofield has admitted that he knew he was gay when he married his wife Stephanie Lowe in 1993.

The This Morning presenter explained to The Sun that he was in no doubt as to his sexuality, but tried to suppress it so that he could live happily.

“I am not saying I didn’t know,” he said. “Whatever was ‘there’ I thought, ‘OK, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy.'”

He added: “If you ask anyone who is gay, they know – there is no confusion.”

The pair met when Schofield was 25. He was hosting the BBC Saturday morning show Going Live!, while Rowe was working in production in children’s television.

Schofield remembers this time fondly, but acknowledged that it was “naïve” of him to try to hide his sexuality from himself and his wife.

“I admit I was perhaps a bit naïve. But when we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head,” he said.

“I was so, so happy when we had the girls, and then bringing them up.”

While everything appeared perfect from the outside, on the inside Schofield was wracked with guilt as his homosexual thoughts refused to go away.

He said that he tried to convince himself he was bisexual, but as the years went by he was forced to admit this wasn’t the case.

“You never know what is going on in someone’s head when they you think they are leading the perfect life. And I was. But then it was there,” he said.

“I was confused by what it was. I thought maybe I was bisexual. But over time I realised and started coming to terms with it. And I realised I had to be honest with myself.”

He was in so much turmoil over his sexuality that it took a huge toll on his mental health, bringing him to the brink of suicide.

He credits the love and support of his wife and their daughters Molly, 26, and Ruby, 24, for pulling him out of depression.

“There is no doubt living with this kind of secret can take people to the darkest of places,” Schofield said.

“And there is no question for me it got very dark, because it felt hopeless. There is no question, in those moments, when I couldn’t see a way forward, it was Steph and my girls — through their strength — who hauled me back.

“But I understand completely why so many men and women in this country get to the point of suicide.

“I had Steph and I had my girls and I don’t think I could have left them like that. But if I hadn’t have had their support, then who knows?”

Schofield’s “amazing, incredible” wife has been his biggest ally as he came out and it has been reported that she won’t divorce the star until he finds love again.

More: coming out, ITV, Phillip Schofield, Stephanie Rowe, This Morning

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