Today show viewers were left perplexed last week when host Karl Stefanovic abruptly went AWOL mid-way through his hosting duties.
However, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the 42-year-old’s disappearance was all part of a carelfully orchestrated plot to doge paparazzi and jet off on a romantic to Bora Bora with girlfriend Jasmine Yarborough.
The publication claims the Channel Nine star and his model girlfriend are lapping up the sunshine on the Polynesian island aboard the luxury yacht of Karl’s billionaire pal James Packer.
Revealing further details, the Telegraph states that Karl – who split from ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn last October after 21-years of marriage – bolted from the Nine studios under a cloak of secrecy shortly before 8am on Thursday, before being whisked to Sydney airport.
Reuniting with Jasmine in Bora Bora – the 33-year-old is believed to have arrived several days before – the shoe designer hinted earlier in the week at her location by posting an Instagram pic of herself lying poolside in a striking red one-piece, along with the caption: 'Nope … not coming home.'
A friend also told The Sun-Herald it was unexpected that Karl, 42, would take a week off work 'when he will have the children the very next week during school holidays'.
The publication claimed that Karl's three children with ex-wife Cassandra - Jackson, 17, Ava, 12, and 10-year-old River - will instead join him 'on the road' while he films the Today show.
At the time of his on-air disappearance last week, a Nine spokesperson said: 'Karl is on leave for the next few days. He will be back on air at the end of next week. Ben Fordham will be filling in for him.'