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Karl Stefanovic becomes emotional as he discusses Jessica Rowe’s departure from Today


Karl Stefanovic became emotional as he reunited with his former Today show co-star Jessica Rowe, 14 years after she was sacked from the breakfast program.

Jessica left the Today show in 2007 and she cited it was due to ‘payment issues’ but scandal struck when it was later revealed that Channel Nine’s chief executive Eddie McGuire allegedly asked when he could ‘bone’ her.

Karl, 47, made an appearance on Jessica’s podcast, The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show, and discussed her brutal sacking for the first time.

‘I wish I’d been a better man’: Karl Stefanovic (pictured) became emotional as he discussed former Today show co-star Jessica Rowe’s sacking from the show in 2007

‘You didn’t have a guy next to you who could have helped you and protected you,’ Karl said.

‘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?’

Candid: Karl, 47, made an appearance on Jessica's podcast, The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show , and discussed her brutal sacking from the program, admitting: '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'

Candid: Karl, 47, made an appearance on Jessica’s podcast, The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show , and discussed her brutal sacking from the program, admitting: ‘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’

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 scandal struck when Nine’s chief executive Eddie McGuire allegedly asked when he could ‘bone’ Jessica, with reports suggesting at the time he meant to ‘sack’ her. 

He reportedly made the comments during a conversation with his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs, Mark Llewellyn.   

Move: 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

Move: 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 

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

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.’

Headlines: In 2006, Channel Nine's then-CEO Eddie McGuire (right) allegedly asked fellow executives when he could 'bone' (i.e. sack) Jessica as co-host of the Today show. McGuire has since denied using the term 'bone' in the conversation

Headlines: In 2006, Channel Nine’s then-CEO Eddie McGuire (right) allegedly asked fellow executives when he could ‘bone’ (i.e. sack) Jessica as co-host of the Today show. McGuire has since denied using the term ‘bone’ in the conversation

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). 

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.’ 

Jumping ship: Jessica left the Today show in 2007 following her return from maternity leave. At the time, she cited payment issues as the reason for her departure. She later joined Channel Seven as a newsreader and presenter on Weekend Sunrise

Jumping ship: Jessica left the Today show in 2007 following her return from maternity leave. At the time, she cited payment issues as the reason for her departure. She later joined Channel Seven as a newsreader and presenter on Weekend Sunrise

Jessica left the Today show in 2007 following her return from maternity leave. At the time, she cited payment issues as the reason for her departure.

She then joined Channel Seven as a presenter for Seven News in Sydney, before taking part in Dancing with the Stars. 

Jessica moved to Weekend Sunrise in late 2010 and stayed there for three years.

In 2013, she signed with Network Ten 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 Network Ten 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 Network Ten 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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