There has been an outpouring of love and support for Phillip Schofield since he revealed that he was gay in a lengthy social media post and a subsequent interview with Holly Willoughby on Friday.
But many fans have also expressed their natural concern for his wife of 27 years, Stephanie Lowe, and the couple’s two grown-up daughters, Molly and Ruby.
Now Stephanie has broken her silence, telling The Sun on Sunday: “We’ve had to face the most emotionally painful time in our 27 years of marriage.”
Yesterday, Phillip’s daughter Molly shared a message on her private Instagram, telling her dad and her followers that she loves him and is proud of him.
At the forefront of Phillip’s mind is protecting his three girls, his family, who he says have shown him the most incredible kindness and love.
He sat down with The Sun on Sunday for an exclusive interview after Friday’s emotional coming out and hinted they were to thank for him not sinking into an even darker place as he grappled with depression over his secret.
The 57-year-old said: “There is no doubt living with this kind of secret can take people to the darkest of places.
“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?”
The This Morning star became “depressed” after hiding his sexuality for so long, and said his decision to come out came as the secret was starting to “damage” him.
Phillip even sought professional counselling to help with his inner turmoil.
Speaking to the newspaper, he explained that he had poured his heart out for an hour and sobbed as he tried to figure out his way forward.
The Dancing on Ice host announced his sexuality in a candid Instagram post, which was followed by his appearance on This Morning on Friday (07.02.20) alongside his co-host Holly Willoughby.
When we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head.
Holly said she has “never been more proud of my friend than I have today”, and read out Phil’s statement, before he reflected on how he is feeling.
He said: “It’s funny, because everyone I’ve spoken to, you, have all been so supportive, loving and caring, and my entire family, to a person, have grabbed us and said, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK. We love you, we’re proud of you.’
“Every person I tell it gets a little lighter and a little lighter. I’m really very aware that Steph and the girls are at home watching this, and we’re all together.
“We spent a lot of time together and they’ve been supporting us as we got to this moment.
“I feel a little lighter but I’m very aware there is no question it causes pain and upset. We’ve never had any secrets.”
In his only press interview with The Sun, Phillip also admitted that he knew he was gay when he got married to Steph 27 years ago.
“I’m not saying I didn’t know. Whatever was ‘there’ I thought, ‘OK, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy’.”
“I admit I was perhaps a bit naïve,” he explained. “But when we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head.
Now fully come to terms with his sexuality, Phillip concluded: “If you ask anyone who is gay, they know, there is no confusion.”
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