Jessica Rowe feels ‘lighter’ after burying the hatchet with Karl Stefanovic


Jessica Rowe recently reunited with her former Today co-anchor Karl Stefanovic, 14 years after she was unceremoniously sacked from the breakfast show.

And the 51-year-old revealed on Today Extra on Wednesday that she felt ‘lighter’ after burying the hatchet with Karl, 47, during a one-on-one interview on her podcast.

She told hosts David Campbell and Belinda Russell they ‘were both in tears’ after their ‘freeing conversation’ about what went down in 2007.

Relief: Jessica Rowe (pictured) feels ‘lighter’ after burying the hatchet with former Today co-host Karl Stefanovic, 14 years after she was unceremoniously sacked from the breakfast show

‘Karl was magnificent. Both of us were nervous about how the conversation would go. We spoke to each other at a time where you could sit in a radio studio together and we were both in tears,’ she said.

‘Karl with his big heart said, “Yes, I will do this,” and it was a freeing conversation for both of us.’

Jessica admitted: ‘I think sometimes you don’t realise the resentment that you hold on to unnecessarily, and often we do need to have those hard conversations to move through something.’

Reunited: Karl (right) and Jessica discussed her brutal sacking for the first time on The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show last month. She was dumped from Today in 2007 after returning from maternity leave, and said at the time it was due to 'payment issues'; however, it later emerged she was pushed out because Nine top brass, including CEO Eddie McGuire, didn't like her

Reunited: Karl (right) and Jessica discussed her brutal sacking for the first time on The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show last month. She was dumped from Today in 2007 after returning from maternity leave, and said at the time it was due to ‘payment issues’; however, it later emerged she was pushed out because Nine top brass, including CEO Eddie McGuire, didn’t like her

She went on to say she ‘feels lighter’ and that she and Karl have remained in touch since recording her podcast.

‘I feel lighter and I know Karl does,’ she said.

‘And what’s been lovely is we’ve been messaging each other and it’s just a really special way to put a sparkly end on one of the awful times in both of our lives. We hadn’t spoken to each other for 15 years.’

Candid: 'Karl was magnificent. Both of us were nervous about how the conversation would go. We spoke to each other at a time where you could sit in a radio studio together and we were both in tears,' Jessica said on Today Extra on Wednesday

Candid: ‘Karl was magnificent. Both of us were nervous about how the conversation would go. We spoke to each other at a time where you could sit in a radio studio together and we were both in tears,’ Jessica said on Today Extra on Wednesday

Karl and Jessica discussed her brutal sacking for the first time on The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show last month.

She was dumped from the Today show in 2007 after returning from maternity leave, and said at the time it was due to ‘payment issues’.

But scandal struck when it was later revealed that Nine’s then-CEO Eddie McGuire had allegedly asked other executives when he could ‘bone’ – meaning sack – her.

‘You didn’t have a guy next to you who could have helped you and protected you,’ Karl said, acknowledging his failure to defend Jessica at the time.

‘I’m here to apologise to you, and I wish I’d been a better man. A stronger man. Not just for you, but for myself.

‘Years later, when I was going through my third and fourth wave of [criticism], I was thinking, how did Jess Rowe survive?’

Scandal: In 2006, Jessica was thrust into the spotlight when she moved from Channel 10 to the Nine Network to replace Tracy Grimshaw as co-host of the Today show. But Nine execs didn't think she was a good fit for the role, prompting McGuire to ask when he could 'bone' her

Scandal: In 2006, Jessica was thrust into the spotlight when she moved from Channel 10 to the Nine Network to replace Tracy Grimshaw as co-host of the Today show. But Nine execs didn’t think she was a good fit for the role, prompting McGuire to ask when he could ‘bone’ her

In 2006, Jessica was thrust into the spotlight when she moved from Channel 10 to the Nine Network to replace Tracy Grimshaw as co-host of the Today show.

But Nine top brass didn’t think she was a good fit for the role, prompting McGuire to make the ‘boning’ remark during a conversation with his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs Mark Llewellyn. 

‘What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week,’ McGuire had reportedly asked. 

Disrespectful: 'What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week,' McGuire (right) had reportedly asked his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine's head of news and current affairs Mark Llewellyn

Disrespectful: ‘What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week,’ McGuire (right) had reportedly asked his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs Mark Llewellyn

Llewellyn then allegedly told McGuire the network might risk also losing Jessica’s husband, Nine News reporter Peter Overton, if they sacked her.

McGuire is said to have replied, ‘Maybe we have to take that risk,’ before Browne added: ‘She’s a laughing stock and if we keep her on air we’ll be the laughing stock.’ 

McGuire has since denied using the term ‘bone’ in the conversation, which was laid out by Llewellyn’s sworn affidavit made public after he left the network for rival station Seven.

Jessica was eventually let go in 2007, after taking maternity leave, and was replaced on Today by Lisa Wilkinson. 

Unceremonious exit: Jessica was eventually let go in 2007, after taking maternity leave, and was replaced on Today by Lisa Wilkinson

Unceremonious exit: Jessica was eventually let go in 2007, after taking maternity leave, and was replaced on Today by Lisa Wilkinson

Discussing the ‘boning’ incident years later, Jessica said that people forget ‘how powerful words can be and how they can hurt like hell’, adding that she was still ‘terribly upset’ by what happened.

‘That year was a terrible time in my life and it was not helped by public abuse, abuse from within the network that I worked at and abuse from someone who was in charge of that particular network,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016.

‘It was horrific and it pre-empted then a very dark period in my life. A whole lot of factors contributed to a perfect storm… and it just makes me terribly sad.’ 

Another change: In 2013, Jessica moved to Channel 10 and hosted morning show Studio 10 alongside Ita Buttrose, Joe Hildebrand, Sarah Harris and Denise Drysdale. In March 2018, she announced she was resigning from the program to spend more time with her family

Another change: In 2013, Jessica moved to Channel 10 and hosted morning show Studio 10 alongside Ita Buttrose, Joe Hildebrand, Sarah Harris and Denise Drysdale. In March 2018, she announced she was resigning from the program to spend more time with her family



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