Few Australian couples have captured the attention of the public quite like Karl and Jasmine Stefanovic.
From their whirlwind beginnings, to the lavish Mexican wedding that (almost) saw the end of returning Today host Karl’s breakfast television gig, intense intrigue follows the journalist and shoe designer pair — who welcomed their first daughter Harper May this year.
Now, in a candid chat with Stellar Magazine as this weekend’s cover star, Jasmine is setting the record straight – revealing she’s sick of being known as just ‘Karl’s wife’.
Opening up about their beginnings, Jasmine, 36, joked that she was taken aback by Karl’s popularity in Australia, having lived overseas modelling for much of her 20s.
“Karl and I met through friends at lunch one day,” she said of the moment they met back in 2016, five months on from Karl’s divorce from Cassandra Thorburn.
“I had been mainly back and forth from overseas from the age of 20 and had no idea how popular Karl was in Australia. So I was in shock when he used to get chased by paparazzi when I would come home for a visit from LA. I remember turning to him one time and saying, ‘What’s going on? You’re not Brad Pitt.’”
She later recalled the sweet story of their engagement on the day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup — revealing it didn’t exactly go to plan.
“Karl was secretly going to propose to me, so he invited all our friends and family to Melbourne – there were 50 of us – but I looked in the safe and saw the ring box, and it ruined the surprise. We had a laugh about it, though, and it was the best races I’ve ever been to because everyone we love was there with us.”
But it hasn’t been the perfect journey for Karl and Jasmine, with the couple’s love story dogged by headlines slamming Karl for moving on from his wife of 21 years, even claiming Jasmine ‘stole’ Karl from his ex -wife Cassandra.
Speaking about the stories, Jasmine admitted it was “hard” to deal with at the time, but was grateful for her support network.
“Having good family and friends around me and, of course, my husband (helped).
“I think the hardest part was dealing with misconceptions and untruths. You just have to focus on the people that know you and love you,” she said, adding that she wants the focus shifted from her personal life to her business.
“I want the focus to be on my business and those achievements, not on what I am wearing or who I am married to,” she added.
Earlier this year, the Today host himself hit back at the accusations levelled at Jasmine before they wed in 2018.
“She’s been through so much. She’s been pilloried and accused of things that didn’t happen,” Karl told Stellar.
“It’s not her fault she fell in love with bugalugs, and the accusations were wrong about her stealing me from Cassandra. It’s rubbish and it’s hurtful.
“She’s just a beautiful, sweet woman from Queensland who runs a business and fell in love with me,’ he continued.
Karl, 46, who had undergone a vasectomy when he met Jasmine, has three children from his marriage to Cassandra, son Jackson, 20, daughter Ava, 14, and son River, 12.
He and Jasmine welcomed Harper May on May 1st.
Five months on, Jasmine says motherhood is “the best thing she’s ever done in her life.”
“It is so rewarding. Harper is my angel. She is the happiest baby. I’m probably biased, but she is pretty gorgeous. She even wakes up singing instead of crying. And then I look over in her cot and she’s beaming this gummy smile at me,” she said, adding: “That is my morning and I think to myself ‘Hell yeah, this is amazing.’ I’m very lucky.”
She went on to say that Karl’s gruelling early morning schedule has been a blessing in disguise throughout their early months as new parents.
“When he goes to bed early, I want to go to bed and Harper wants to go to bed, so we’re all going to bed early. And then when he gets up I’m up feeding Harper, around 4am, and that’s when he goes to work. If I’m struggling or had a bad night where I was up a lot, he’s home by 10am, which is a huge help.”
She described Karl’s fatherhood style as “very hands on”.
Read the full interview with Jasmine Stefanovic in the current issue of Stellar, available in the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun, on sale Sunday, October 11.