Anyone who’s been through a separation or divorce knows that harsh words are said. But it’s hard to imagine seeing those words in print for loved ones, not to mention the public, to read – which is no doubt why Karl Stefanovic can’t let the claims of his es-wife Cassandra Thorburn lie.
The Today show host, 44, split with Thorburn, 44, in 2016 after 21 years of marriage and months later started a new relationship with younger fashion designer and model Jasmine Yarbrough. But Thorburn, the mother of his three children, has made no secret of her anger over the end of their marriage and this week Australian Women’s Weekly published an interview with her that included a new round of brutal criticisms of Stefanovic.
Thorburn, a journalist and children’s book author, told the magazine that Stefanovic’s family and friends had cut her and her children off after the split, saying she felt that they were now “dead to his family and almost anyone from our old life”.
“I feel like we’ve been discarded and disposed of, replaced by a whole new line-up of starters,” she said. It’s a sentiment that, again, many people who’s suffered the end of a long relationship will identify with, as family members and friends choose ‘sides’.
But although Stefanovic’s family reportedly hit back when the allegations aired during the week, saying that that “Karl regularly co parents [sic] his children and has his loving family around them”, the breakfast show host himself remained silent – possibly due to the “custody and financial matters” that his family said were still to be decided by the family court.
At the time, Karl kept a dignified silence. But he’s now given an exclusive interview to the Daily Telegraph‘s Sunday Confidential in which he insists he had only declined to comment to protect his children from further scrutiny.
“I wasn’t planning on commenting publicly, but I feel the need to put some words around things to avoid further speculation on something that really matters to me,” he told the newspaper column. Calling his children – Jackson, 18, Ava, 13, and River, 11 – “the most beautify, funny, innocent, exquisite people in my life”, Stefanovic said that he didn’t want his silence “or the fact that my children aren’t visibly front and centre with me for everyone to see, to be misinterpreted as absence”.
“I’m their dad and I’m not going anywhere,” he added.
His desire to shield his children from unwanted attention is understandable given that there has been press interest in the activities of Jackson, who as an adult is less shielded from media coverage than the younger kids.
Stefanovic finished his interview with a statement that anyone who’s been in a similar situation would no doubt agree with: “Divorce is tough on everyone”.
But as Herald Sun columnist Susie O’Brien pointed out in a column this week, regularly speaking about the situation publicly is making the situation no easier. “Karl Stefanovic’s ex-wife is acting like a professional, vengeful victim who’s as bad as him,” O’Brien claimed. Her advice? It’s time for both of them to “shut the hell up.”