Well, this is awkward. I make a passing reference to TV presenter Philip Schofield in my book, in a section written a couple of years ago:
When married people come out as LGBT+, there’s often a negative reaction from the wider world and if they’re well known, the press too. The person (it’s usually a man, or someone who’d tried to be) is cast as duplicitous, a deceiver, someone who used his partner as a human shield to hide his dirty little secret and robbed her of the best years of her life. I saw lots of that when TV presenter Philip Schofield came out as gay in 2020. I don’t think he was trying to deceive anybody either, except maybe himself.
I think the point I’m making still stands, which is that when somebody comes out when they’re already in a relationship they’re typically demonised in a way that straight people having affairs or leaving their partners are not. And a lot of the response, especially online, to Schofield coming out was straightforwardly homophobic. But it seems that Schofield was indeed deceiving somebody: the tabloids today are running the story that Schofield groomed a teenage boy and then had a sexual relationship with him once it was legal to do so and that his coming out as gay was because the press got hold of it and were going to run with it. There are tales of superinjunctions, and of bad behaviour by Schofield’s agent, and much more.
Schofield’s behaviour is of course despicable. But apparently I was the only person unaware of what everyone online is saying was an open secret: Schofield’s activities were widely known in the press and in the entertainment industry, which means an awful lot of other people were complicit in the cover-up. Some of the most vocal condemnation of Schofield’s deceit is coming from people who were perfectly happy to join in the deception, and are apparently doing the same today with an equally famous television presenter whose sexual behaviour, once again, is an open secret.