Karl Stefanovic’s divorce from ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn has played out in front of the nation, with the pair taking turns to exchange blows in the public eye over the past year.
But now, mum-of-three Cassandra has surprised TV viewers by jumping to Karl’s defence during an exchange with the Studio 10 panellists, insisting despite their differences, the 44-year-old TV star will always be their children’s father.
Asked how she’s finding being a single mum, Cassandra said: “It’s good, I’m going really well, the kids are great, I’m great, life is pretty good.”
It prompted Sarah Harris to point out how hard it must be to suddenly be a single mum after so many years in a relationship – before adding: “I think that would be such a tricky thing, all of a sudden being mum and dad for your kids.”
However, Cassandra then quickly jumped in and cut her off, saying: “But you’re not mum and dad, you know my children still have a dad – of course they do. I’m not replacing him in that position, he still holds that position. He will always be their dad.
“But also one of the amazing things that I found about the experience, one of the positives, was getting to know myself again. You grow up and you embark on adulthood on your own, then you become part of a partnership and then you become part of a family and the it’s like ‘okay, now I get to get to know myself’, which I’m sure a lot of mums and dads do.”
At that, Angela Bishop quickly clarified that it is possibly more difficult for Cassandra and Karl, as their divorce has played out so publicly, to which Cassandra added: “You just have to remember that not everything that’s said is correct and that things are often made up and fabricated.
“Things can be taken out of context and at the end of the day I just have to believe in myself, the only priority I have is making sure my children are happy and are in a good place, so I don’t owe anyone anything.”
It seems Karl agrees with her final statements, as just hours before Cassandra’s appearance on the Channel 10 show, he appeared to rubbish recent claims he could be sacked as host of Today.
An article published in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend claimed Karl could be replaced as soon as the New Year amid falling ratings, but while he is yet to address the story directly, the TV star has now hit out at false reports more generally.
It began on Wednesday’s show with sports reporter Tim Gilbert slamming a Fairfax article about the Burgess brothers skipping the Dally M Awards, allegedly because of a “lewd video scandal” – in which Sam was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
“There is so much garbage that gets written about this desk. They [journalists] make it up,” Tim said, to which Karl pointed out: “I think you’ve just got to ignore it.”
However, he then added: “It’s upsetting. It’s upsetting to have stuff written about you, isn’t it?”