Amid all the personal and work related ups and downs experienced by Karl Stefanovic over the past few years, his relationship with Jasmine Yarbrough has remained rock solid. But on a recent outing the happy couple appeared unusually downcast.
Last week Karl’s ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn launched a blistering attack on her former husband, claiming the Stefanovic family has all but abandoned her and the kids since the couple’s bitter divorce – a claim that no doubt heaped even more strain on the Today host.
As they drank coffee in the upmarket Sydney suburb of Mosman, Jasmine watched as her fiance looked worriedly into the distance. An onlooker told New Idea that the couple seemed ‘strained’ and were talking to each other with ‘tense voices’.
After a little while, Karl got up and headed to his car, leaving his fiancee to finish her coffee alone. At one point she held her head in her hand.
It would be no surprise if the couple were feeling the pressure with just months to go before they tie the knot. While Karl is said to be on a strict diet to look his best on the big day – back in June he joked he was ‘shedding for the wedding’ after seeing unflattering photographs of himself playing tennis – there have been countless other stresses for the TV presenter.
In a no-holds-barred interview Cassandra spoke about the difficulties she’d faced since their split after 21 years of marriage.
‘Last year, I declared that Karl really was dead to me, a man I no longer know, but the children still have their father,’ she said. ‘The flip-side of that is I feel like we’re dead to his family and almost anyone from our old life.’
Cassandra added: ‘There has been practically no contact. I feel like we’ve been discarded and disposed of, replaced by a whole new line-up of starters.’
Despite the scathing attack, the former journalist is keen to put the past two years behind her. With the divorce done and dusted, it’s finally all over and Cass is finally free to move on with her life.
In an Instagram post from last week, Cassandra announced the launch of her first children’s book Leo Lion’s Big Bed and the caption took another swipe at her ex. ‘Profits are going to an organisation that helps to ensure children are prioritised in divorce,’ she wrote, in a move said to have disappointed Karl.
However, the embattled Today host was quick to hit back at claims of neglect.
Last week a representative for the Stefanovic family countered Cassandra’s allegations.
‘We are disappointed Cass would claim such inflammatory suggestions that we have alienated Karl’s children from our family,’ a statement read. ‘Family is often compromised when parents go through a painful divorce and we do our best to continue our love and support for the children.
‘Karl regularly co-parents his children and has his loving family around them.’
In June, Karl settled the final details of their divorce, reportedly giving Cassandra their $8 million waterfront Cremorne home and paying $35,000 a month in child support for children Jackson, 17, Ava, 12, and River, 10.
Soon after, Karl, 44, hit back at critics of his relationship with Jasmine – which began months after he split from Cassandra in October 2016 – telling The Kyle and Jackie O Show, ‘I’m in love. I think this happens to people, and I’m sorry for any hurt that it caused and causes. But I won’t be apologising to my nearest and dearest, because I don’t need to.’
And in an interview with 3AW he told radio host Neil Mitchell that he was struggling to cope with the constant scrutiny of his life, and that in reality he was ‘the world’s most boring man’ and didn’t understand why everyone was so interested in him.