his Logies and James Packer’s wine


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Cassandra Thorburn is considering legal action over a report in last weekend’s The Sunday Telegraph that claimed she and her estranged husband Karl Stefanovic came to an agreement on their split with the odds strongly in her favour. 

The page 3 “exclusive” claimed that Thorburn, who left her own journalism career to take care of the couple’s three children, walked away with “$6 million in assets” including the couple’s unfinished Cremorne home, while the Today show host, who earns an estimated $2.5 million a year from Channel 9, endorsement deals and hosting events, agreed to “$500,000 in cash and assets” and his “beloved white Mercedes [Benz]”.

Karl Stefanovic goes public with new girlfriend

Months after announcing his split from his wife of 21 years, Today host Karl Stefanovic is photographed sailing in Sydney with new girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough.

“This is entirely untrue, nothing has been decided or agreed. The report is absolute garbage and it’s really hurting the kids and Cass,” a family member told Fairfax Media. 

“We have no idea where this information came from. For instance, the Merc – that is a deal that Karl gets as part of being Karl.”

The Telegraph reported that Stefanovic, 42, took “a hit” financially and “put up very little resistance” to his wife of 21 years so he could see their children – Jackson, 17, Ava, 12, and River, 10.

“The inference that Cassandra would have traded the children for money has totally devastated her. She is a woman who is totally dedicated to the children,” a second family member said.

“She is talking to her lawyers about what her options are.”

Stefanovic did, however, seek “items close to his heart” following the split.

“He asked for his Logies back [gold and silver] straight away and he got those. He was very insistent on his wine too – particularly his large collection of reds,” the family friend said.

“He was particularly keen on his more exclusive bottles, Grange and an Argentinian wine called Cobos​ – he was very keen on that wine as it was a personal gift from Packer. Packer gives that out to those in his court.

“He was also wanted the bar fridges as he is keen that wine is properly housed.”

Stefanovic took his scooter back that was given to him by former cricketer Michael Clarke and a collection of framed photographs of Hollywood movie and rock stars.

The inference that Cassandra would have traded the children for money has totally devastated her.

“They were the things he focused on. They were his priorities,” they added.

The timing of the separation in the report is also incorrect. Stefanovic and Thorburn went their separate ways at the end of July last year – 10 months ago. “In Australian law, you must be separated for 12 months before you can file for divorce,” explained Heather McKinnon, family lawyer with Slater and Gordon, who has been in practice for 35 years.

Also included in the report was the claim that Thorburn and the children were now living in an $8 million waterfront mansion in Cremorne that the pair had put a deposit on just a few weeks before Stefanovic walked out. Stefanovic initially moved into the Bondi penthouse of his close friend, billionaire James Packer. He is now living in an apartment in North Sydney.

“The house in Cremorne is not completed yet and is still under construction. Cass and the kids are temporarily living in an apartment in North Sydney to facilitate the children going to school,” the friend added.

A member of the family observed that Stefanovic had appeared to regard the luxury property as a home that would be fit to entertain his celebrity friends, particularly casino mogul Packer, celebrity accountant Anthony Bell, and Today co-host Richard Wilkins. “But his interests in the property has since faded,” they added.

The pair sold their Lindfield property for $3.8 million in November. There was speculation about what would happen to the lavish Cremorne home, but it is believed that the intention is now to complete the purchase, with Thorburn and the children expected to move in in the coming months.

The family friend also observed that the children live full-time with Thorburn, while Stefanovic visits.

“She is happy for him to see them whenever he likes, but he has been travelling a lot lately – for work and pleasure,” the friend added.

Last month, during the first week of Easter school holidays, Stefanovic jetted to Los Angeles to meet his girlfriend of at least three months, Jasmine Yarbrough, 33. The pair then jetted to Cabo, Mexico, to holiday with her parents, brother and friends, while Thorburn and the children were packing up and moving out of the family home in Lindfield.

He is spending this weekend in Brisbane with Yarbrough and his mother Jenny for Mother’s Day. 

Stefanovic was given an opportunity to comment before The Sunday Telegraph report but he did not respond. It’s believed his lawyers wrote to the publication after the story was published.

The report also read that “Ms Thorburn also ­declined to comment,” however, the friend added: “They did not reach out. No one contacted her.”

A spokesperson for The Sunday Telegraph said they stood by  the story and they had contacted agent Max Markson on behalf of Thorburn. However, Markson told Fairfax Media that he has never represented Thorburn.  

Karl Stefanovic declined to comment. Cassandra Thornburn said she could not comment, but added she does not have an agent.

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