As one of the country’s most respected journalists, Lisa Wilkinson has enjoyed a lengthy career reporting the news, not making it.
But in 2017, all that changed when the mother-of-three made headlines everywhere, after a breakdown over pay negotiations saw her sensationally quit Nine and her 10-year stint as Today co-host alongside Karl Stefanovic.
Rumours of bitterness and infighting swirled amid Lisa’s shock departure.
Now, three years on, the 60-year-old is said to be working on an explosive tell-all book that will reveal all about her highly publicised career and falling out with Nine, – and sources tell Woman’s Day Karl is sweating bullets!
“Karl is freaking out – the timing couldn’t be worse,” reveals the insider.
“He’s in the middle of the toughest contract negotiations of his career, he’s feeling very fragile about whether he has a future and he’s terrified Lisa’s scandalous reveal will derail it all,” the source explains, who says the 46-year-old father-of-four is anticipating he’ll be “thrown under the bus”.
According to the insider, Lisa, who reportedly earns $2 million anchoring The Sunday Project, won’t hesitate to blow the Nine “boys’ club” out of the water in her book, as she’s been sitting on a “gold mine worth of dirt” for years.
“She’ll fire up about how they reward bad behaviour by paying Karl a ridiculous $3 million,” continues the source, who says Lisa was infuriated that she did the hard yards while her co-host was “the highest paid boofhead larrikin on TV”.
At the time, the pay scandal, which caused great debate over the gender pay gap, was splashed across newspapers and online news outlets across the country, prompting Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks to speak out about the situation.
“I went to an incredible amount of trouble to build a $1.8 million package for her. She wanted $2.3 million. It wasn’t a $200,000 shortfall to Karl’s $2 million magic number. It was $500,000,” Hugh said in 2017.
But it’s not just their working relationship that is said to have Karl melting down.
Our source reveals Lisa could include details about the 60 Minutes star’s marital breakdown with his ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn, 49, and his subsequent marriage to shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough 36.
“He is, with good reason, a tad worried that Lisa knows a lot of what went down in his personal life. What was supposed to go on tour and stay there, now may not – the word is Lisa is about to air that dirty laundry,” the source insists.
“There’s the back story around the sudden breakdown of Karl’s marriage… Lisa would’ve been privy to the details of Karl’s marriage split with Cassandra, who, by the way, Lisa has a great deal of respect for.”
While it’s said the book will also touch on her 27-year marriage to fellow journalist Peter FitzSimons, 59, and her impressive magazine career – which includes being Dolly magazine’s youngest ever editor – it will be her television secrets and revelations that will cause the biggest stir.
Interestingly, Carrie Bickmore is also said to feature after reports circulated that The Project host was unhappy that she was earning far less than Lisa.
“It’s no secret Lisa and Carrie aren’t exactly the best of mates,” explains the insider.
“The word is Lisa is keepinga number of key chapters light in content, in case she is punted from Ten or if Carrie or one or more of her current team are pushed out,” the source adds, noting Lisa will have plenty to say either way.
WATCH: Karl Stefanovic talks about his former co-host Lisa Wilkinson: