Phillip Schofield has been left “distressed” and saddened after private messages between him and a social media star were made public.
TikToker Oli O’Toole posted a video on his profile talking about conversations the 21-year-old has had with the This Morning presenter, OK reports.
During the post, Oli showed screenshots of the messages exchanged between him and the 59-year-old who grew up in Newquay.
The first messages were sent in 2017 and more were exchanged last year.
Following the video’s publication, a source at The Sun said that the incident has left Phil feeling sad and distressed.
Oli has since explained he is simply a fan of the presenter and urged people to “stop trying to make it something it isn’t”, after the video went viral.
The source said: “Phil is the most caring and kind-hearted person and he if a fan messages him he will always try and reply.
“There was nothing strange or out of the ordinary about him replying to a fan and seeing suggestions from online trolls it could be something else was really saddening for him.
“Oli didn’t appear to think about the consequences of posting a video like that. It’s blowing over now but it still wasn’t very nice and at the time felt rather distressing.
“Phil will always go out of his way to make his fans feel special and will talk to everyone.”
Oli took to Instagram on Wednesday to clarify that he and Phillip had only messaged four times and apologise for any upset caused.
He wrote to his 7,000 followers: “This is so crazy to write but let me explain… Phillip Schofield replied to me (a fan) about 4 times in the space of 3 years… I posted it as part of a trend on Tiktok…
“[A newspaper] thought there was a story and now so does every other news outlet. I didn’t see the story or tell a reporter.”
He continued: “There is no story, depth or underlying thing. Stop trying to make it something it isn’t.
“Thank you to everyone who’s understood how random and pathetic it is, Love you x.”