The TV host has been married to Steph, who he met while working on Children’s BBC, for nearly 27 years.
After Phillip announced he was gay in an emotional Instagram statement on Friday, Steph has now addressed the matter to The Sun.
She simply said: “We’ve had to face the most emotionally painful time in our 27 years of marriage.”
Steph’s statement came as Phillip admitted he suspected he was gay when they married in 1993, but suppressed his sexuality.
“I am not saying I didn’t know,” he told the paper. “Whatever was ‘there’ I thought, ‘OK, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy’.
“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.”
The couple have two grown-up daughters, Molly, 26, and Ruby, 23.
In an interview with best friend Holly Willoughby on This Morning on Friday, Phillip paid tribute to his wife and children, saying their support had been “astonishing”.
“We’ve been honest and open,” he told Holly. “Steph, I can’t write in any statement what I feel about that woman. She’s amazing, she’s incredible.
“There is no one in my life who would have supported me the way… as a wife, as the way she’s supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing.”
He added in his Instagram statement: “My girls have been astonishing in their love, hugs and encouraging words of comfort.
“Both mine and Steph’s entire families have stunned me with their love, instant acceptance and support. Of course they are worried about Steph, but I know they will scoop us both up.”
Speaking to The Sun, Phillip also revealed his wife and children had brought him out of some “very dark” places as he came to terms with his sexuality.
He 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?”
Phillip’s eldest daughter, Molly, has publicly showed her support for her father on Instagram, posting a picture of the family on her Story, along with the caption: “Love you always, so proud of you.”
The TV host’s mother, Pat Schofield, has also voiced her pride after she watched her son come out on national daytime TV.
She said that Phillip – who had travelled down to Cornwall to tell her he is gay prior to his announcement – was “brave” and “inspiring”.
Useful websites and helplines:
- London Lesbian & Gay switchboard (LLGS) is a free confidential support & information helpline for LGBT communities throughout the UK | 0300 330 0630
- Manchester Lesbian and Gay Switchboard is a free support, information and referral service for the Manchester and North-West area | 0161 235 8000
- Stonewall for more information on other LGBT services and helplines | 08000 502020