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Karl Stefanovic gushes over wife to publication he once branded as "despicable"

Karl Stefanovic gushes over wife to publication he once branded as "despicable"

Karl Stefanovic has given a wide ranging interview to an outlet he once described as having a “despicable track record” and begged viewers not to read, as he continues the PR blitz surrounding his return to the Today show.

The breakfast show host spoke about his relationship with wife Jasmine Yarbrough and their excitement over the impending birth of their daughter next month in a new in-depth, three-part interview with the Daily Mail.

But in 2017, things were different, as the 45-year-old delivered a blistering on-air takedown of that same publication and begged viewers of the Today show to “never go on that website” after it published photos of him checking into a country NSW caravan park with a female colleague, with whom he was working on a story.

The article pointed out that then-girlfriend Yarbrough was “nowhere to be seen”.

At the time, Stefanovic begged people viewing the show at home to not read the Daily Mail.

“How would you feel if I judged you for what you’re wearing this morning. How would you feel if I criticised your hair, or mocked your make-up or shamed you for not wearing any?” he asked.

“I want to take a couple of minutes right now to call out an organisation that trades in these kind of insults. It’s a news website which seeks to profit from criticising and publicly humiliating people — women especially,” he said.

“The sleazy suggestion we are checking in somewhere and that I’m ‘settling in for a long night.’ Fact: this was work. We were filming a story about our struggling prawn farmers; they deserve a rum or two. The producer pictured on the website is a committed, talented, hardworking and totally professional young woman and not deserving of this cheap, lazy, sexist online slur.”

Stefanovic continued: “The idea that colleagues of the opposite sex cannot work together without something going on surely belongs to the 1950s. The Daily Mail has a long, despicable track record of denigrating women, of ridiculing women and objectifying women.”

He went on to give examples of previous stories the Daily Mail had published, about his then-Today colleagues Lisa Wilkinson and Sylvia Jeffreys. He also referenced the outlet’s infamous Samantha Armytage “granny panties” post that resulted in an apology from the publication.

“This is the same site that ridiculed Lisa for wearing the same blouse four months apart, the same site that tried to suggest that Lisa and Sylvia couldn’t work together, presumably because they are both women. The same site that tried to shame Sunrise host Samantha Armytage for wearing so-called ‘granny pants’.”

“I am over it. I don’t know what you think, but I hope Australia is over it as well. Go hard on me, make up your stories, publish your lies and send out the paps. But if you have any care whatever for the women of Australia, do not slur the reputations of others in your eagerness to throw mud at me. If you agree with me, the best thing that you can do is never go to that website.”

But now, as Today struggles in the ratings department against rival Sunrise, Stefanovic gave a wide-ranging interview to that same outlet, gushing about his love for Yarbrough.

“I think there’s a light about her and a loyalty and an inner beauty – that was the biggest attraction for me,” he told the publication.

“And she’s beautifully loyal to her friends and her family. She’s just a great Queensland girl and I’m very, very lucky … We do have a very loving relationship and to have a baby as an expression of that love is incredible.”

The couple will welcome a baby girl next month – her first and her husband’s fourth. Stefanovic is already a father to Jackson, 20, Ava, 15, and River, 13 – but he admitted that this time around, he’ll approach parenting differently.

“It’s obviously going to be different. I’m going to be a bit slower but I think slower might be a good thing,” he told the outlet.

“I’m not in such a hurry to go somewhere else and I’m not chasing the yarns overseas like I was when I was building up to this point in my career.

“And I don’t think that’s any great sleight on me as a father – it’s just the way things were. As a family we were working towards other things but you are busy in your 20s and 30s. You’re providing for your family every step of the way.

“You’re pretty busy making your way and you don’t stop to smell the roses sometimes but that’s the way it is.”