Phillip Schofield and Stephanie Lowe had been married for nearly 27 years when the former ITV presenter came out as gay in a bombshell statement on This Morning in February 2020
It’s been four years since Phillip Schofield sensationally came out as gay on This Morning and his wife Stephanie Lowe was left “absolutely shattered” by the bombshell news initially.
The former ITV presenter, 61, took to Instagram at the same time, in February 2020, with an emotional statement and wrote: “With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay. This is something that has caused many heartbreaking conversations at home.”
The couple, who share two daughters, Molly and Ruby, faced the “most emotionally painful time in [their] 27 years of marriage” as they learned to navigate a new way of life as a family of four. Since then, Phil has publicly admitted to an affair with a younger colleague and left ITV – but the pair still have ‘no plans’ to divorce.
In February 2020, Phil also admitted he knew he was gay when he married Stephanie. He said in an interview: “I must have been gay when I wed but I was so happy I never considered it. I am not saying I didn’t know whatever was there. I thought ‘OK whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy’.”
At the time, a friend close to the couple told the Mirror that Stephanie was “absolutely shattered”. The source added: “She and the girls love him very much and will support him as much as they can, but the knowledge they have been living a lie for so long is terribly hurtful. It’s humiliating to think that you’re married to someone who doesn’t love you the way you love them.”
The duo, who married in 1993, have yet to legally end their nuptials and remain married, and it could yet be some time before this major step is taken. According to sources, the husband and wife still have feelings of love which makes getting divorced too painful for them to contemplate.
A source told OK! Magazine in November: “Whatever Phillip has done behind Steph’s back, she still loves him… Even if the love they shared in the beginning of their marriage is different to what it is now, the love is still very much there.” The source went on to suggest being an official divorcee could be too much of an insult to add to Phil’s injury.
They claimed: “Steph is, and always will be, Phillip’s support system. She hasn’t divorced him because she doesn’t want to see him fall any further.” It came after Phil’s “unwise but not illegal” affair ultimately cost him his career – as his managers and ITV cut ties with him due to the explosive scandal. Back in May, he initially quit This Morning.
Phil admitted: “I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning. I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.”
In an interview with BBC News, Phil revealed he turned to wife Stephanie before releasing his confessional statement. He said: “I had a wonderful marriage.. have! a wonderful marriage”, correcting himself – before proudly flashing up his gold wedding band still on his left hand. “Not brilliant right now,” he added, before praising Steph as being an “incredibly supportive wife”.
Clarifying his relationship with Steph, Phil said: “We are separated but we are very much together. Let’s just say it was an incredibly difficult conversation. The most difficult conversation I’ve ever had to have with her and she is extremely disappointed because I lied to her as well. But she wished me well today.”
In a second interview with The Sun, Phil said his wife was “very, very angry” after he confessed to her about his affair, and his daughters also thought he had “screwed up royally” but had also been “unbelievably supportive”. He opened up about realising that he was gay while still being happily married. He said: “Something started trying to trip me up and I couldn’t figure out what it was.”
At the end of last year, it was claimed the pair had plans to spend Christmas together. A source told Woman’s Own: “Christmas is all about spending time with the people you love. While Phil and Steph are no longer together in the traditional sense, there’s still a lot of love between them.” They added: “Phil spends a lot of time with his family, which includes Steph, so it’s natural that they’d spend the big day together.”