Wed, 15 Aug, 2018Melody Teh

Cassandra Thorburn opens up about her new life: “I feel like we’re dead to Karl’s family”

Cassandra Thorburn opens up about her new life: “I feel like we’re dead to Karl’s family”

It has been two years since Today host Karl Stefanovic split with his wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn.

In an exclusive interview with Women’s Weekly, Thorburn has opened up about finding herself– as well as her confidence and resilience – again after the divorce left her in a very dark place.

"Thankfully I've been gifted with enough resilience and strength to have got us all through these past two years," Thorburn tells the publication.

"Last year, I declared that Karl really was dead to me, a man I no longer know, but the children still have their father."

"The flip-side of that is I feel like we're dead to his family and almost anyone from our old life."

"There has been practically no contact. I feel like we've been discarded and disposed of, replaced by a whole new line-up of starters."

"It has been a real adjustment period for me."

Thorburn, who shares three children with Stefanovic, also revealed that she was embarking on a new career as a children’s book author. Together with her close friend, Cara Campbell, she has co-authored Leo Lion’s BIG Bed!, which is set for release this month.

A former journalist, Thorburn put her own career on hold to be a stay-at-home mum for her children – Jackson, now almost 19, Ava, 13, and River, 11 – while Stefanovic pursued his journalism career.

Stefanovic is now one of the highest paid TV personalities in the country. Despite all that’s happened, Thorburn doesn’t regret her decision at all, saying being a stay-at-home mum does not mean she’s lost out.

 “I’ve had an incredibly full and interesting life and wouldn’t give up the years of being there for them for anything,” Thorburn said.

“It incenses me that stay-at-home mums are, on the one hand, applauded for putting family first, making the choice to forgo careers for the sake of our children.

“But then, when there is a split, we’re either accused of manipulating the children or criticised for asking for the money that is rightfully ours — you can’t win.”

Stefanovic’s family has responded to Thorburn’s interview, releasing a statement to Nine’s TheFIX: “We are disappointed Cass would claim such inflammatory suggestions that we have alienated Karl’s children from our family.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Karl regularly co-parents his children and has his loving family around them.

“We refuse to keep a running dialogue of the children. There are custody and financial matters before the Family Court and Karl has abided by every single one of them and we will not jeopardise it. Family is often compromised when parents go through a painful divorce and we do our best to continue our love and support for the children.”