Phillip Schofield has opened up on how his daughters reacted to news that he is gay. Appearing on Friday's This Morning, the TV presenter, 57, was interviewed by his close friend and co-star Holly Willoughby and explained how "loving and supportive" his daughters, Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24, were when he shared his news with them.
After being comforted by Holly who said that telling his family couldn't have been easy, Phil agreed, replying: "It wasn't. But they were, they are, amazing in their love and support. I told them and they jumped up and gave me a hug, gave Steph a hug, and said 'It's okay, it's okay.'" He continued: "We'll always be a family. Always, us four, is what we call ourselves. My mum has been on the phone all morning."
Phillip also opened up on how supportive his wife Steph, to whom he's been married for 27 years, has been throughout. "I've never had any secrets [from her], we've never had any secrets," he began. "We've been honest and open. And as I said, I can't write in any statement what I feel about that woman. She is amazing. She is incredible, there is no one in my life who would have supported me the way, as a wife, as the way she has supported me. She is astonishing, literally astonishing."
Holly went on to ask Phil why he had decided to speak out about his sexuality now, and what lead him to go public. "It's a good question," he began. "You [Holly] know this has been bothering me for a very long time," he said. "And I think everyone does these things at their own speed, at their own time, when they feel the time is right. There's no question that it has, in recent times, consumed my head."
Phil with his wife Steph and their two daughters Molly and Ruby
The TV star also went on to insist that he hadn't been forced to reveal his personal news. He stated: "No. This is my decision. This is my decision. This is absolutely my decision. It was something I knew that I had to do. And I don't know what the world will be like no, I don't know how this will be taken or what people will think. But what I would say is, 'Yes I am very, very conscious of the hurt and so my overriding emotion for my family is obviously going to be guilt because I do feel guilty that this can't be anything other than a painful process.'"
On Friday morning, Phil took to his Instagram stories to make the announcement. He wrote: "You never know what's going on in someone's seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing – and so you won't know what has been consuming me for the last few years. With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay."
The heartfelt post continued: "Every day I sit on This Morning, I sit in awe of those we meet who have been brave and open in confronting their truth – so now it's my turn to share mine. This will probably all come as something of a surprise and I understand, but only by facing this, being honest, can I hope to find peace in my mind and a way forward. Please be kind, especially to my family. Phillip."
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