Piers Morgan has spoken out in defence of Holly Willoughby following her return speech on This Morning yesterday (5 June).
Taking to the show's sofa for the first time since Schofield's departure, Willoughby addressed the scandal on This Morning, however, the statement was slammed on social media as 'patronising' as well as 'ridiculous,' and the presenter was even accused of 'mirroring' a speech made by Jennifer Aniston in a TV show.
Beginning her statement with a 'deep breath,' Willoughby noted how 'very strange' it felt to be back on the programme since the scandal broke.
Willoughby continued: "I imagine you might have been feeling a lot like I have - shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what's been going on. And full of questions...
"You, me, and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV and step down from a career they loved.
"That is a lot to process and it's equally hard to see the toll that it has taken on their own mental health."
Willoughby went on to add she believes what 'unites us all' is a 'desire to heal for the health and wellbeing of everyone'.
"I hope that as we start this new chapter and get to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can show strength in each other," she said.
The This Morning presenter thanked everyone for their kind messages and for tuning in, promising viewers she, Josie, Dermot, Alison, Craig and everyone from the ITV show would 'continue to work hard every single day to bring [viewers] the show that [everyone] love[s]'.
Yesterday (Monday, 5 June), Morgan batted off any criticism of Willoughby's speech by arguing she is in 'an impossible position' and 'had to come back contractually and do what she did'.
On his TalkTV show Uncensored, he said: "It is not funny for her… it’s tough, it’s difficult.
"You are in an arranged marriage in these situations. I was in one myself and suddenly you are divorced, right?"
Morgan also reflected on his relationship with Schofield - who he's known for 35 years - noting the former This Morning presenter appears 'completely broken'.
Speaking to the BBC in an interview following his bombshell statement, Schofield admitted he's 'lost everything'.
"I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart," he started.
"But it continues, and it is relentless. It is day after day after day after day. If you do that, and you don’t think that is going to have the most catastrophic effect on someone’s mind, what do you want?
"Do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am.
"My girls saved my life. They said, last week, they haven’t left me for a moment. They’ve been by my side every moment because they’re scared to let me out of their sight.
"If my girls hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here. Because I don’t see a future.
"How much do you want a man to take? Are you truly only happy when he’s dead? This is how Caroline Flack felt. And it didn’t stop."
If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phoneFeatured Image Credit: Talk TV/ Alamy Stock Photo/ Steve Vas