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From an accidental meeting to a surprise second shot at love: Inside Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough's romance

''I certainly did not expect to meet someone five months after I broke up with my wife.''

By Rebecca Sullivan
Something extraordinary happened to Today host Karl Stefanovic in late 2016, just five months after he split from his wife of 21 years and mother of his children, Cassandra Thorburn.
As the couple's (very public) divorce was being finalised, Karl spent a glorious Sydney afternoon on a mate's boat, and met Aussie shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, the woman who would soon become his second wife and the mother of his fourth child.
The fast romance shocked everyone - including the new couple themselves.
"We are taking things really, really slowly. I certainly did not expect to meet someone five months after I broke up with my wife. That was not planned," Karl told Stellar magazine in 2017.
"I met her on a boat in Sydney. We have a really lovely relationship, but it's got to be slow for a variety of reasons."
Even Jasmine thought she and Karl would just end up as solid mates.
She had spent the past seven years in Los Angeles and New York, working on her successful shoe brand Mara and Mine, a favourite among fashion-forward celebrities, and had just returned to Australia for the first time in years, to spend Christmas with her family.
"Karl and I had met through friends over the Christmas period when I was back from Los Angeles visiting family in 2016," Jasmine told Vogue Brides.
"When we first met, I thought he was going to be such a good friend, because we just laughed all the time. He had me in fits of laughter all day!
"He's the funnier one in the relationship, that's for sure. He's so quick-witted."
Karl and Jasmine's romance caught even them by surprise. Instagram
They met on a boat in Sydney - and Jasmine thought they would actually be friends, not lovers. Image: Instagram
But as the couple fell in love, Australians fell out of love with the cheeky larrikin who had fronted Today, alongside his co-host Lisa Wilkinson, for years.
Karl's ex-wife Cass, 48, made it clear that she was not on his side, hinting that he had walked out on their family without a proper explanation.
"We are divorced, but like many broken families it is extremely stressful for everyone concerned," she told The Australian Women's Weekly in 2018.
"Thankfully I've been gifted with enough resilience and strength to have got us all through these past two years. I want only for my children to be respected – so walking away, that's not respectful."
More loved-up than ever! Image: Instagram
Karl and Jasmine's luxurious destination wedding certainly didn't help repair his public image.
The couple were married at the One&Only Palmilla resort in San José del Cabo, Mexico, in front of 200 friends and family in December 2018.
The event looked stunning (and expensive), yet rumours swirled that Karl and Cass's three children made only brief appearances at the wedding, preferring to stay away from their father's big day.
Today viewers - mostly women with children - started to turn again against their golden boy.
The ratings took a dive and eventually, Karl stepped down from his job at Today, making way for a whole new lineup to take over.

Furthermore, it was unclear if the Karl and Jasmine would ever be able to have a family of their own.
Back in 2010, Karl, who already has three children with his ex-wife Cass - Jackson, 20, Ava, 14, and River, 13 - underwent a vasectomy.
"I have had the snip now. So we're definitely not having any more kids unless at some point we want to have it reversed, although I really can't see that happening any time soon," he confirmed to Woman's Day at the time.
But later, he had the procedure reversed.
At the 2019 TV WEEK Logie Awards, he hinted that the couple were trying for a baby, but had bit a few roadbumps.
When asked about the rumours that Jasmine was pregnant, the Channel Nine star told TV WEEK: "Well, if the gods of fertility shall shine their light on us at some point, it would be fine."
Karl had his vasectomy reversed so he could have children with Jasmine. Instagram
Jasmine, who is a decade younger than Karl, was desperate to have children. Instagram
It was only until recently that Karl, now 45, opened up about the "genuinely black times" he faced during this period of public backlash.
"Personally, it was a bit hard because I thought a lot of people do go through relationship difficulties and, unfortunately, for me that was in a very public way, but that's what happens when you're a public person," told 3AW's Neil Mitchell.
"But I thought, 'Well hang on, a lot of people go through this, and why is mine such a big deal?' I still don't know why it was.
"I got divorced, I did find love again, and I'm sorry if people are offended by that, but it's made me really happy."
Karl said the intense public backlash made him question where he went wrong.
"Look, my life hasn't been that difficult, and I think there are people out there who have far worse going on … so I'm not going to rabbit on about how difficult my life was," he said.
"But there was certainly periods where I thought, 'Oh my god, all I've ever done is really work hard and try and do the best I could for a show or network'. And then I thought, 'Well, hang on a second, how have I got it so wrong?'"
Karl and Jasmine sitting front row at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2018. Getty
But the end of 2019 gave Karl and Jasmine a Christmas miracle - a baby and his old job back.
Karl returned to his role as Today Show host alongside Allison Langdon and Karl publicly confirmed his happy baby news for the first time.
While speculation was building for months at the end of 2019 that Jasmine, 35, was pregnant, the pair chose not to make an official pregnancy announcement - and Jasmine is yet to publicly confirm the news herself.
But it was a post Karl made on his own account that put the rumours to bed and confirmed the news that the couple were expecting a child.
Captioning a paparazzi photo of himself looking a tad more rotund than usual, Karl said: "After a great deal of speculation...the rumours are true."
Now that the dust has settled on the furore surrounding their relationship, Karl says the couple are able to lead more of a normal life.
"We're glad that some of the heat has died out of the whole thing and we sort of lead a more normal life than we did before," he told KIIS FM hosts Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O in early January.
And he also gushed about his gorgeous wife, revealing that she has taken to pregnancy like a duck to water.
"She is glowing, she's happy and we're all very happy," Karl said.
Karl explained the couple are choosing not to find out the sex of their child until the birth.
"We have very few surprises in this life, and there's been so much of us that is public. (During) the whole thing, we've been trying to hold on to ours," he said.
Karl added: "I think pregnancy is one of those things that is really boring!"
WATCH BELOW: Karl shares intimate photos from inside his wedding to Jasmine. Story continues after video.
The couple recently celebrated a few milestones - their first wedding anniversary, as well as Jasmine's birthday.
The unashamedly blokey Karl seems to have softened in middle age and now frequently posts gorgeous, candid tributes to his wife on Instagram.
In celebration of Jasmine's birthday in late January, Karl uploaded a sweet photo of his love hugging a dog, with the caption: "Happy birthday my love. You are such a light. A great big beautiful happy unwavering light. I'm so grateful. @jasyarby."
Karl uploaded this adorable candid snap of Jasmine to Instagram in celebration of her birthday. Instagram
And for their anniversary, he posted a cute couple pic of the pair, writing alongside the image: "Happy Anniversary love. Please don't ever let go."
On May 1, the couple's first bub finally arrived as Harper May was welcomed into the world at Sydney's Royal North Shore Private.
"Harper and Jasmine are doing well and dad had a great night's sleep. I am in awe. Harper is absolutely perfect," Karl said in a statement announcing the happy news.
Welcome to the world Harper! (Instagram)
Getting candid in her first interview with Stellar Magazine in October 2020 Jasmine revealed she never realized how well-known husband Karl was thanks to spending much of her 20s overseas.
The fame, spotlight and hounding from paparazzi was a tough adjustment.
"Having good family and friends around me and, of course, my husband (helped).
"I think the hardest part was dealing with misconceptions and untruths. You just have to focus on the people that know you and love you," she admitted.
"I want the focus to be on my business and those achievements, not on what I am wearing or who I am married to."