It’s right on sunrise and the streets of Sydney’s Lower North Shore suburbs are beginning to stir and Cassandra Thorburn spares a moment to enjoy the view over Sydney Harbour before reflecting just how far she’s come in the past 15 months since splitting from her husband Karl Stefanovic.
“There were days in the beginning I would get up, put on a brave face and drop the kids at school, then I’d get to the back door and I would lie in a heap for the rest of the day unable to move – there were very dark days,” she admits.
“I was completely gazumped when I realised Karl had gone.”
Cass found it difficult adjusting to life as a single mum.
“I questioned and doubted myself about everything,” she admits.
“I slept on the couch in front of the fire for months because I didn’t want to go near the marital bed. I was in a very dark place.”
Today, Cass, 46, is a very different woman.
Glowing with confidence, and fitter, healthier and stronger than she has ever been before, she has put the grief and anger behind her to forge a new life with her three children, Jackson, 18, Ava, 12 and River, 10.
“I get up every day with only one purpose – to make sure my three beautiful kids are happy – everything else really doesn’t matter,” she says.
“I’m only concentrating on being strong in every way, and being the best mum I can be.”
WATCH: Cass joins a slew of stars at the Women of the Future Awards. Post continues….
With a newfound confidence and her first children’s book almost completed, Cass decided now was the right time to mark a new chapter in her own life.
“I wanted to do this one interview to tell my story,” she says, looking the best she has for months as she surveys the $8 million Cremorne mansion where she lives.
Cass also now realises that during the “dark days” when she was still trying to understand the split, she was experiencing grief, and says it was very much like when a family member dies.
“I realised I was going through stages of grief, and to me it was like someone had died,” she says.
“The children still have a father but I don’t have a husband. He really is dead to me and no, we won’t ever be friends again.”
Woman’s Day understands the children are yet to meet Karl’s new girlfriend, Jasmine Yarbrough, 33, despite Karl and Jasmine living in the next suburb.
For the full interview and photo shoot with Cassandra Thorburn get the new issue of Woman’s Day - on sale now!