Cassandra Thorburn is facing fresh scrutiny over her claims a magazine fabricated a series of sensational quotes in which she slammed ex-husband Karl Stefanovic.
New Idea published on its website Monday an interview it says was conducted between a reporter and Thorburn as she arrived at Sydney Airport on Sunday, the same day as Stefanovic’s lavish Mexican wedding ceremony to new bride Jasmine Yarbrough.
It was a shocking outburst: Thorburn was quoted as calling her ex a “fake person who lives in this fake castle,” saying she’d “done a lot of reading about narcissism”.
Appearing on Studio 10 yesterday, Thorburn vehemently denied the quotes.
“I didn’t do an interview with New Idea, so that’s one thing,” she told the Studio 10 panel.
“So none of these quotes that were attributed to you …?” asked panellist Joe Hildebrand.
“I did NO interview with New Idea. There was no interview,” she repeated, insisting the magazine had “made them up.”
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But t he Daily Telegraph today reports they have “verified irrefutably” that Thorburn did indeed make the remarks, while sitting down at an airport coffee shop with a journalist named Jonathan Marshall.
New Idea had reported that Thorburn had slammed her ex’s OTT wedding to designer Jasmine Yarbrough: “He’s thrown three weddings for goodness sake. Who needs three weddings in a year, give us a break.”
“Three weddings and a funeral. We had a funeral and it was my dad’s.”
She added, per New Idea: “After we separated he… said [to me]: ‘It is very, very hard to be the best journalist in Australia, quite possibly the world’. That tells you who that man is and who he thinks he is.”
In a lengthy live TV appearance yesterday — just two days after her ex’s wedding — Thorburn, who has reportedly signed an ongoing television deal with Ten, insisted she was no longer a newsworthy figure.
“After two-and-a-half years, I’m not a news story. I’m just a mother who’s divorced from my ex-husband, and I’m trying to find my place back in the world. This constant harassment, every time my ex-husband’s in the news — which is often — they then come looking for me, my children, my mother.
“It’s not OK, and I don’t think as a society we should be accepting it.”
Panellist Kerri-Anne Kennerley commended Thorburn for not having “dignified all these column inches” with a response.
“What’s the point?” Thorburn asked.
In fact, Thorburn has given several high profile tell-all interviews since she and Stefanovic split, each one fuelling public interest in their breakup:
In October 2017 she told Woman’s Day magazine that her ex-husband is now “dead” to her.
“The children still have a father but I don’t have a husband. He really is dead to me and no, we won’t ever be friends again,” she said.
In August 2018 she spoke to The Australian Woman’s Weekly, revealing that she and Stefanovic’s children “feel like we’re 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.
Then there was her September 2018 appearance on Studio 10, in which she revealed she had gone through her ex’s phone. “Oh, there’s a LOT of things you find in them. Too bad I didn’t do it earlier,” she said, to gasps from the panel.
Yesterday, sympathetic Studio 10 panellist Sarah Harris asked Thorburn if it was time to seek police intervention to stop the tabloid attention.
“There’s nothing they can really do. Someone’s watching me from (outside) the house, which makes me scared to go out. I spend a lot of days going ‘OK, this has been in the news, so I am not going out. What are we having for dinner tonight?’ Because it might’ve been the day I was supposed to do the groceries,” Thorburn said.
“I just want to be able to move on with my life. We’re really happy; we’ve really found quite a good balance here. My children are trying to establish themselves in a new environment. We should all be able to get on with our careers. I should be able to, my ex-husband and his partner — his wife — should be able to.”
Stefanovic brothers’ futures at Nine in trouble
Thorburn also laughed off speculation about a seemingly pointed photo she posted to Instagram on the weekend, showing her holding a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale.
“A good book for my journey,” she captioned the snap, which was posted to social media around an hour after Stefanovic and Yarbrough’s wedding photos were made public.
“I tried posting a book the other day… The Handmaid’s Tale,” Thorburn told the Studio 10 panel.
“And it was supposed to some sort of cryptic stab at an ex?” asked Harris.
“Like, who’s in The Handmaid’s Tale that I know? Certainly not me. I’m not a Handmaid.”
Earlier on the show, Thorburn revealed that she’d be spending some of this Christmas without her two youngest children, who will spend time with their father.
“I don’t get Christmas Eve with the children or Christmas morning, I get Christmas afternoon … You have to follow what’s set in place, the younger children have to follow the rules,” she said.
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