Phillip Schofield dropped to 9 stone and turned to prescription pills to ‘take the edge off’ as he struggled with his sexuality
Phillip Schofield has revealed that his weight plummeted to just 9st 11lbs as he turned to prescription pills to cope with the pain of hiding his sexuality.
In February, the 58-year-old TV presenter announced that over the course of his 27-year marriage he had been “been coming to terms with the fact” that he was gay.
He previously touched on his mental struggle in an emotional interview with co-host Holly Willoughby, but his inner turmoil is now laid bare in his new memoir, Life’s What You Make It, published today.
“It’s like being inside the blackest cloud and being consumed by crushing, desperate sadness,” he said, recalling his nightly insomnia. “Nothing and no one can make it better.”
The star said he was struggling to sleep more than two hours each night and turned to prescription pills to “take the edge off”. His pain was so great that he refused to eat, despite the best efforts of his wife, and soon became worryingly thin.
“My weight dropped, and as it hit 9st 12lbs the This Morning viewers started to notice. I was getting tweets from people asking if I was ill,” he recalled.
It finally reached a point where he knew he had no choice but to come out. “If not, the secret was going to give me a total breakdown… at best.”
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He admits in his book that his mental health is “still a work in progress”, and that he’s been speaking with a therapist to help him work through his feelings of guilt.
“I’m finding it hard to pick my way through the debris,” he explained. “Is there a way to reveal a secret like this to the world and not hurt your wife or your family?”
He added that he could never have made peace with his sexuality without the help of his biggest supporter, Holly Willoughby.
“My friends are the best, especially Holly, who has been so kind and wise – and who has hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder,” Phillip Schofield wrote.
His friend and co-host was one of the first people he told about his sexuality, and he said he couldn’t have publicly come out without her by his side.
“I couldn’t have done that with anyone else. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else sitting beside me,” he shared on The One Show.