Lisa Wilkinson REFUSES to talk about Karl Stefanovic in interviews for her new book 


She’s released a string of controversial extracts from her new memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, centring upon her fraught relationship with Karl Stefanovic. 

But Lisa Wilkinson, 61, became suddenly shy when given the opportunity to discuss her former Today co-host, 47, live on radio last week.  

Speaking to The Australian, Melbourne 3AW radio presenter Neil Mitchell revealed he’d rejected an offer to interview Wilkinson about her upcoming autobiography after her management requested that he ‘not focus too much on the Stefanovic issue.’  

Suddenly shy? Lisa Wilkinson, 61, (right) refused to talk about Karl Stefanovic, 47, in an interview for her new tell-all memoir, It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This, despite slamming him in early extracts to drum up publicity

Suddenly shy? Lisa Wilkinson, 61, (right) refused to talk about Karl Stefanovic, 47, in an interview for her new tell-all memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This, despite slamming him in early extracts to drum up publicity

‘I don’t know if they were operating under her instructions, but it’s a strange way to promote a book. You can’t conduct an interview under those constraints,’ Mitchell said on Monday. 

Mitchell also blasted Wilkinson’s minders on-air last week, claiming that ‘no decent journalist’ would host an interview with such restrictions on what could be asked. 

It came after a journalist at Canberra Times also revealed that Wilkinson’s team had requested that Stefanovic not be discussed in an interview about the memoir on Sunday.  

'It's a strange way to promote a book': Speaking to The Australian , Melbourne 3AW radio presenter Neil Mitchell (pictured) revealed he'd rejected an offer to interview Wilkinson about her upcoming autobiography after her management requested that he 'not focus too much on the Stefanovic issue'

‘It’s a strange way to promote a book’: Speaking to The Australian , Melbourne 3AW radio presenter Neil Mitchell (pictured) revealed he’d rejected an offer to interview Wilkinson about her upcoming autobiography after her management requested that he ‘not focus too much on the Stefanovic issue’ 

‘Wilkinson’s here to talk about her autobiography It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This. I’ve been instructed not to bring up her time at Nine and The Today Show or talk about her fractured relationship with Karl Stefanovic,’ the journalist wrote.  

Despite her hesitation to discuss Stefanovic in person, Wilkinson has had no qualms about slamming him within the pages of her tell-all autobiography.  

Recent excerpts released to promote the book detail Wilkinson’s feud with Stefanovic in the weeks prior to her departure from Channel Nine.     

Unusual request: Mitchell also blasted Wilkinson's minders on-air last week, claiming that 'no decent journalist' would host an interview with such restrictions on what could be asked

Unusual request: Mitchell also blasted Wilkinson’s minders on-air last week, claiming that ‘no decent journalist’ would host an interview with such restrictions on what could be asked

Other excerpts from Wilkinson’s book tell of the the controversy surrounding his divorce from wife Cassandra Thorburn in 2016 and subsequent marriage to shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough. 

Last week, Wilkinson released an excerpt describing her reaction to learning that her former colleague had found someone new, just months after his highly-publicised marriage breakdown with his wife. 

She said Stefanovic then showed her a picture of the LA-based model and designer, nine years his junior, before confirming that he was ‘madly in love’ with her.

Karl on the brain: Despite her hesitance to discuss Stefanovic in person, Wilkinson has had no qualms about slamming him within the pages of her tell-all autobiography

 Karl on the brain: Despite her hesitance to discuss Stefanovic in person, Wilkinson has had no qualms about slamming him within the pages of her tell-all autobiography

Wilkinson said she found him looking ‘as happy and relaxed as I’d ever seen him’ during the meeting, before he uttered the words: ‘I’ve met someone.’ 

‘Well, that certainly took a turn,’ Wilkinson wrote, adding: ‘And explained a lot. That smile he had on his face got even bigger.’

Wilkinson also detailed in her book how Stefanovic’s relationship with a younger woman impacted his career, citing an interview with entertainment reporter with Peter Ford on The Kyle and Jackie O show.   

Tell-all: Recent excerpts released to promote the book detail Wilkinson's feud with Stefanovic in the weeks prior to her departure from Channel Nine

Tell-all: Recent excerpts released to promote the book detail Wilkinson’s feud with Stefanovic in the weeks prior to her departure from Channel Nine

‘His personal ratings – and Nine has done research to confirm this – are right down the toilet,’ Ford said. ‘Women are angry at him.’  

Host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson echoed those thoughts, adding: ‘They think he’s just left her for some young 20-year-old and he’s cavorting around, kissing her, cuddling her, for everyone to see.’

Wilkinson said that the research Ford had spoke about referred to the fact the entire Today team – including Stefanovic – had been asked to attend a presentation about the TV star’s declining ratings in light of his new relationship.

Learning the news: In her book, Wilkinson also discusses the moment Cassandra Thorburn (left) - a former producer on the Today show - sent her a text message informing her Stefanovic had moved out of the family home in 2016

Learning the news: In her book, Wilkinson also discusses the moment Cassandra Thorburn (left) – a former producer on the Today show – sent her a text message informing her Stefanovic had moved out of the family home in 2016

‘Each of us was given a full dossier detailing it all, and Jackie was right. It made for very uncomfortable reading,’ Wilkinson wrote.

Also in her memoir, Wilkinson revealed the moment Cassandra – a former producer on the Today show – sent her a text message informing her Stefanovic had moved out of the family home back in 2016.

‘They had just bought a waterfront property a month or two before and he had just signed a massive deal with the network. I presumed everything was great,’ Wilkinson wrote.

Romance: Stefanovic (left) had met Yarbrough (right) aboard a lavish cruise in December, five months after he and Cassandra Thorburn - who share Jackson, 20, Ava, 15, and River, 13, together - separated in 2016. They divorced a year later

Romance: Stefanovic (left) had met Yarbrough (right) aboard a lavish cruise in December, five months after he and Cassandra Thorburn – who share Jackson, 20, Ava, 15, and River, 13, together – separated in 2016. They divorced a year later

She said she ‘gasped’ when she received the text from Cassandra telling her the couple had separated after 21 years of marriage.

‘Cass wanted to let me know that Karl had moved out a few weeks before,’ she wrote. 

‘She was worried he hadn’t yet told me and didn’t want me mentioning anything on air about them that might make things uncomfortable.’ 

Family: Stefanovic is now married to Jasmine, whom he wed in Mexico in December 2018. Pictured: The couple on their wedding day

Family: Stefanovic is now married to Jasmine, whom he wed in Mexico in December 2018. Pictured: The couple on their wedding day

Wilkinson said Stefanovic had managed to keep a lid on things for weeks, and even when questioned by the paparazzi at the airport about his split he ‘refused to give them what they wanted’.

‘His restraint was extraordinary,’ she wrote.  

‘I, on the other hand, wanted to yell at them to back off and it took every bit of strength I had in me not to.’

Stoic: Wilkinson said Stefanovic had managed to keep a lid on things for weeks, and even when questioned by the paparazzi at the airport about his split he 'refused to give them what they wanted'

Stoic: Wilkinson said Stefanovic had managed to keep a lid on things for weeks, and even when questioned by the paparazzi at the airport about his split he ‘refused to give them what they wanted’

Stefanovic went on to marry Yarbrough in Mexico in December 2018, and the couple now share a one-year-old daughter, Harper.

Following a media frenzy regarding his personal life alongside a slump in ratings, Stefanovic was dumped by Channel Nine in December 2018 while he was on his honeymoon with Yarbrough in the US.

However, he was sensationally brought back to the Today show in early 2020 to revive declining ratings, and has remained as a fixture alongside host Allison Langdon ever since.

Wilkinson’s book also includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute.

Sacking: Wilkinson's book also includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute in 2017

Sacking: Wilkinson’s book also includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute in 2017 

She was sacked from the Today show in October 2017 after a reported gender pay gap issue.

The Nine Network was reportedly ‘unable to meet her expectations’ after she demanded equal pay with Stefanovic.

In January the following year, Wilkinson joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet. 

She was sacked from the Today show in October 2017 after a reported gender pay gap issue.

The Nine Network was reportedly ‘unable to meet her expectations’ after she demanded equal pay with Stefanovic.

In January the following year, Wilkinson joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet.   

Cha-ching! In January the following year, Wilkinson joined Channel 10's The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet

Cha-ching! In January the following year, Wilkinson joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet  

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