Karl Stefanovic flooded with 'fan mail' ahead of Lisa Wilkinson's memoir release

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Lisa Wilkinson's memoir, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This hasn't even hit shelves yet, but the highly anticipated tome has already sent tongues wagging.

The most controversial claims so far have come from the chapter dedicated to Lisa's former Today co-host, Karl Stefanovic, and her infamous ousting from the Nine Network after a reported pay dispute.

Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson share a funny moment on set of the Today Show. Photo: Instagram/lisa_wilkinson.
Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson co-hosted the Today show together for 11 years. Photo: Instagram/lisa_wilkinson.

Karl 'thriving'

Lisa, 61, details how her 11-year working relationship with Karl crumbled when he gave her the 'cold shoulder' after declining an invite to her and her husband's wedding vow renewal ceremony at the eleventh hour in 2017.

Their bond was already hanging by a thread, according to Lisa, who claims Karl backed out of their deal to team up and renegotiate their salaries together with Nine in order to secure his own $2 million a year contract.

But, despite the bad press, Karl, 47, is apparently 'thriving' and eyeing off a 'plumped up' deal with Nine as well as a chance at replacing Ben Fordham as host on Australian Ninja Warrior.

"The thing about Karl is that he thrives during these situations,' the source claims. 'It seems Lisa's long-anticipated book release may have backfired - Karl has never had so much fan mail," a source told New Idea on Monday.

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The front cover of Lisa Wilkinson's autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This
Lisa's autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This is set for release on October 27. Photo: Instagram/lisa_wilkinson

The insider warned that some might see Lisa as having 'gone too far' with her claims against Karl.

"If Lisa keeps chipping away, there could be a perception that she's now gone too far, having a go at the man she shared mornings with for 11 years," they added.

In a recent interview with The Herald Sun, however, the Project host clarified that her memoir isn’t intended to be an attack on anyone.

"What's out there at the moment looks like I am trying to attack Karl, but as you know in the book, that’s not what I’m doing,” Lisa said.

"I'm just not keeping men’s secrets anymore. I think, as women, when we do that all we do is strengthen the boys’ club and we do women a disservice," she added.

Pay gap dispute

In her book, Lisa alleges that Karl suggested in 2015 that they pair up and negotiate a pay rise, a promise he backed out on shortly thereafter.

'Weeks later,' according to Lisa, Karl was successfully playing Nine against rival network Seven before eventually re-signing a five-year deal on Today worth at least $2million per year.

In contrast, Lisa is said to have been offered about $780,000 a year for two years.

"There was no doubt about it: Karl certainly knew the art of the deal," Lisa remarked in her memoir.

Lisa Wilkinson on The Project.
Lisa joined The Project shortly after leaving Today in 2017. Photo: Instagram/lisa_wilkinson

Lisa earlier sat down with her Sunday Project co-host Hamish MacDonald to reveal how she felt "humiliated and betrayed" after she was abruptly dropped by Channel Nine in 2017 following her request for equal pay.

"I think the idea was to humiliate me because I'd been in negotiations to try and close the gender pay gap," she said.

When Hamish questioned how big the gap was, she replied: "Doesn't get much bigger than the gap that I experienced. I was very expendable. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to my audience, I was told 'that's it'."

As for her friendship with her former co-host Karl, a teary Lisa admitted: "Look, we're not really in touch."

Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson on set of the Today show
Karl has responded to his former co-host Lisa Wilkinson's new memoir. Photo: Channel Nine

Karl responds: 'Absolute horse****'

In an earlier chat on the Kyle & Jackie O Show, Karl poured cold water on 'horse****' rumours that he's planning his own tell-all tome in response to Lisa's highly-anticipated book.

"I'll never write a book because I'm too bloody lazy!" Karl said on October 11.

Kyle asked him point-blank if he was concerned about how he might be portrayed in Lisa's autobiography, but Karl said he wasn't worried in the slightest. 

"No mate, you know what, Lisa and I had 10 years together right, and I think in any kind of working relationship there are going to be ups and downs and those things are heightened with breakfast TV," he said.

Karl added that he thinks Lisa has "every right to go and say and do whatever she likes," but he did, however, admit he's prepared to cop any criticism coming his way.

As well as her time on Today, It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This also covers an alleged sexual assault Lisa suffered at the age of 15, her extensive journalism career and her relationship with her husband Peter FitzSimons.

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