Lisa Wilkinson says Karl Stefanovic cut her out of ‘Friends’ pay pact

More bombshell claims have emerged about the former Today co-hosts.
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Ahead of the release of her book It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, more shocking claims have emerged about the Today show’s pay gap war between Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic.

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According to the former breakfast show host, Karl Stefanovic had proposed a “Friends-style” equal pay pact with Lisa before secretly carving out his own multimillion-dollar deal.

The pact was reportedly based on the one created by the cast of the popular sitcom, who insisted on equal pay as a group instead of negotiating individual contracts.

“Karl said that with Georgie (Gardner) gone, and Ben (Fordham) having left to concentrate more on his radio career outside of Nine, we were the heart and soul of the show,” Lisa explained in the book as reported by the Daily Telegraph.

Lisa dropped some major bombshells in her new book. (Credit: Network 10)

“Without us, he said, the network would be screwed. They needed us like never before. He wanted us to present to Nine as one entity, an unbreakable duo, with a dual contract on equal pay.”

“I was surprised and flattered he thought that about us,” she wrote. “The ratings didn’t lie, though. We were regularly winning.”

However, the August 2015 proposal went south when follow-up calls to Karl by Lisa’s manager went unreturned.

“The silence was suddenly as deafening as it was telling,” Lisa said.

“That silence was interrupted weeks later when the media became awash with stories that Stefanovic was restless at Today and looking for greener pastures – and more civilised working hours – at Channel 7.”

Karl and Lisa’s relationship became frosty before her departure. (Credit: Instagram)

“He (Karl) had played both networks off against each other brilliantly and in full public view,” she writes. “There was no doubt about it: Karl certainly knew the art of the deal.”

Lisa added that the pay gap between the two hosts was “off the charts” and “much bigger” than reported.

“The truth was, the gender pay gap between Karl and me was so off the charts that no-one would have believed it – and much bigger than that figure that had been conveniently leaked,” she revealed.

WATCH: Karl Stefanovic slams Prince Harry for “whining about his childhood”

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To add salt to the wound, Lisa was then blindsided by Charlie Pickering about the rumoured pay gap while a guest on The Weekly in May 2017, which lead to Karl seemingly cutting her off following the interview.

“He obviously felt that I had somehow broken whatever code it was that he, and boys clubs everywhere, were signed up to when it comes to the gender pay gap,” she wrote.

“A gap that flourishes in the silence of women. And I had just gone and done the unthinkable: I’d opened my mouth.”

It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This by Lisa Wilkinson is out on November 3.

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