Karl Stefanovic breaks his silence on divorce, new love
THIS time last year, Karl Stefanovic was Australia's most loveable larrikin.
His lighthearted approach to co-hosting Today with Lisa Wilkinson for the past ten years won over the whole of Australia.
We laughed with him, we felt his pain when he was fooled into eating the world's hottest pie and we applauded him when he wore the same suit for an entire year to make a point about sexism, after Wilkinson was regularly criticised for her outfits.
Are you sick of hearing about Karl Stefanovic?
This poll ended on 31 December 2017.
Yes. Do we ever get a day off?!
No. I love keeping up with Karl!
Haven't decided yet ... I'll wait till the next story
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
In February, five months after his marriage breakdown hit the news, Stefanovic was photographed kissing Jasmine Yarbrough - a 33-year-old model and shoe designer.
Now, in his first sit-down interview since separating from Thorburn, Stefanovic has spoken to Stellar Magazine about how he's dealing with unprecedented levels of attention, who's betrayed him the most and his new relationship with Jasmine.
HIS MARRIAGE TO CASSANDRA THORBURN
On September 20 last year, numerous media outlets reported that Stefanovic had moved out of the family home and was temporarily staying at his friend James Packer's Bondi apartment.
Almost immediately after their shock split came to light, Stefanovic took a break from Today, with the couple also putting their North Shore home up for sale. After less than two weeks on the market, it sold for $3.8 million.
The couple had lived in the Lindfield home since 2010 with their three children Jackson, 17, Ava, 11, and River, 10.
Despite Karl seemingly stepping away from the public eye when he took numerous breaks from Today - public interest in the journalist had never been stronger.
"I've been through some personal stuff that's been difficult on everyone in my family," he tells Stellar.
"That has been the hardest aspect: the increased public interest, or coverage, makes it more intense to navigate through. But it isn't a world event, it's not a national event, it's not a community event. I don't know where to place it.
"It confuses the hell out of me," he says.
HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH JASMINE YARBROUGH
While there was plenty of speculation Karl had moved on with Jasmine, it wasn't until the pair were photographed kissing on a superyacht in February that their relationship was confirmed.
The pair well and truly confirmed they were a couple when they made their official debut at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in March.
Since then, they've been regularly photographed in and around Sydney - and even in Bora Bora when the pair secretly jetted to the island destination to spend time on James Packer's yacht.
"We are taking things really, really slowly," Karl says of their relationship.
"I certainly did not expect to meet someone five months after I broke up with my wife. That was not planned, I did not know her before. I met her on a boat in Sydney," he adds, confirming the story that the pair met on a boat cruise in December.
While Stefanovic says they "have a really lovely relationship," he's also determined to not share anything publicly.
"I don't think that's fair on anyone involved. It was unexpected and lovely, but we're going to try to keep a level of privacy to how we're going and what we're planning, especially considering I have three beautiful children who need to be taken into consideration," he tells Stellar.
Stefanovic's determination to keep his new relationship out of the public eye no doubt comes after numerous sources told Fairfaxhis family "were shocked by his public display of his relationship" after photos of them kissing on the yacht were splashed across the front page of The Sunday Telegraph.
THE UNPRECEDENTED MEDIA ATTENTION
With more than 20 years experience in the industry, Karl no doubt understands how the media works - but clearly nothing could've prepared him for what was to come after announcing his separation.
"I don't know where it comes from, I don't know what drives it; I guess as a public figure you've got to roll with it and I'm not as hard done by as many other people out there. From my perspective, I'm not interesting. I'm a boring guy," he tells Stellar.
But whether or not Karl understands the scrutiny, he definitely is afraid of it - not "in an unmanly way" though.
"When it first happened, it was so intense I was frightened to go outside. I don't mean that in an unmanly way, but I can't stand that kind of attention," he said.
A head-scratching quote from one of Australia's biggest TV stars no doubt, but it's the way Karl lost complete control over his life that scared the TV veteran.
"TV's very controlled. When your personal life is completely overrun by things out of your control and your life is under a microscope it's like, 'God, I can't even walk without thinking I'm going to trip over,'" he says.
And despite the loss of control, it's the "betrayal" from family and friends that has clearly hurt the most.
"I've had my own father talk to a magazine. I've had friends and family say things to magazines and stuff and it's like,
'How many more betrayals do you want?'" he asks.
HIS FUTURE AT THE TODAY SHOW
Karl has been dogged by rumours for years now that he's been looking for a way out of his hosting gig at Today and his friend and fellow journalist Ben Fordham has always been at the top of the rumoured replacement list.
Channel Nine are always quick to shut down rumours regarding Stefanovic's alleged exit.
"Karl is definitely on Today in 2017, alongside the team who have had such a successful year in 2016," a spokesman told news.com.au late last year.
And the network even went as far as lawyering up over the tabloid rumours in November, with Nine news boss Darren Wick telling 9Honeythey would "no longer tolerate" the "endless fabrications".
But whether or not Karl is leaving Today - his latest gig sees him hosting the upcoming series This Time Next Year - the seasoned journalist said he'd be more than happy for Fordham to be the one to take his place.
"If at the end of the year, or the end of next week, Channel Nine goes, 'Karl, we have had enough of you and Ben Fordham is going to do the job,' I would say congratulations to Ben. Ben's one of my best friends, so I will find a job, I will do another job and I'll be good at it because I am good at what I do," he told Stellar.
Stellar is available in today's Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sun and Sunday Mail.