Alex Stefanovic says he doesn’t believe he will talk to Karl and his brother Peter ever again.
Alex, 70, further claims Today host Karl refuses to call him ‘Dad’, is ‘ashamed’ of him and has not let two of his kids meet their grandfather.
‘There is no way back. Things are beyond repair.
‘We’re done. I won’t see Karl or his brother Peter again in this life, maybe the next,’ says Alex, who despite these claims was invited to and sat in the third row at Peter’s wedding to Today co-host Sylvia Jeffreys.
‘I have nothing to do with either of them.
‘They walked away from me 25 years ago following my divorce from their mother. We’ve barely spoken since. That’s the reality.'
‘He’s embarrassed about me because I’m fat, I’m bald and I’m poor,’ reveals Alex. ‘Karl and I haven’t had much communication for 10 years. ‘He can’t even call me “Dad”, he calls me “big fella”.
‘Being a parent is like watching a bad movie. You keep thinking it’s going to get better but it never does.’
Karl has revealed little about his relationship with his father, only referencing him in passing, such as when he told Nova of his surname’s Serbian roots recently. ‘Dad changed [Stefarnonovitch] to Stefanovic. It sounded more Australian,’ he revealed, matter-of-factly.
Speaking at his home with new partner Carmel Floro, Alex says he has been painted as the family villain, and hasn’t had access to his grandchildren.
‘I met [Karl’s 17-year- old son] Jackson once when he was a toddler,’ he says. ‘I haven’t met the others. It’s obvious Karl wants me to have nothing to do with his children. That’s just how it is.’
Talking of the Logie winner’s split from wife Cassandra Thorburn, 44, last September, Alex is not surprised Karl walked away after 21 years of marriage.
‘From what I know, it was a strained marriage and had been for a long time,’ the retiree says. ‘Karl came to see me in the early 2000s and said: “Marriage is too hard, it’s all over.” He was going to move in with me, but he returned and they reconciled.’
Speaking of his own split from ex-wife Jenny, Alex claims Karl and his brother Peter ‘sided’ with their mother after the divorce – which led to years of tension between the father and sons.
He emphatically denies infidelity played any part in his separation from Jenny, claiming that Karl’s mother never forgave him for losing the family home in an ill-fated business venture.
Karl has himself spoken of his parents’ marriage breakdown. ‘When they split up, it was pretty hard,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Probably for a couple of years I had a fair bit of angst. I wasn’t young but still... it was a big thing.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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