Meet the h wo­man who’s snapped up Karl Ste­fanovic!

The To­day host is ready to in­tro­duce his new girl­friend to the world

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

Af­ter nu­mer­ous false starts since split­ting from his wife last year, Karl Ste­fanovic has fallen hard for an Aussie beauty al­most 10 years his ju­nior – and this time it’s se­ri­ous.

In fact, Karl is al­ready keen to go pub­lic with Bris­bane-born model and shoe de­signer Jas­mine Yar­brough, who he has been dat­ing since be­fore Christ­mas. The move will see him put his messy split with his wife of 21 years, 45-year-old Cas­san­dra Thor­burn, be­hind him. It’s be­lieved Karl hopes the pub­lic dec­la­ra­tion will help to ce­ment his feel­ings for his younger girl­friend, and prove to her – and the rest of Aus­tralia – that he’s ready to say good­bye to the sin­gle party life. Friends say Karl has in­vited 33-year-old Jas­mine to the April wed­ding of his younger brother Peter to To­day col­league Sylvia Jef­freys. Karl sees the oc­ca­sion as an op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce LA-based Jas­mine to his fam­ily and friends. As well, he plans to take her to the Lo­gie Awards, also in April. “Karl and Jas­mine don’t want to hide be­cause they aren’t ashamed of be­ing to­gether,” a friend of

Karl’s re­veals to Wo­man’s Day ex­clu­sively. “They’re hop­ing that once they de­clare they’re a cou­ple, pub­lic in­ter­est will die down.” Karl, 42, and Jas­mine met at a boat party in Syd­ney while she was vis­it­ing friends dur­ing De­cem­ber. She was said to be hes­i­tant at first, aware of the pub­lic in­ter­est in Karl’s love life – but the To­day host was in­stantly smit­ten and his cheeky hu­mour won her over. Soon af­ter meet­ing, the cou­ple started dat­ing and be­came in­sep­a­ra­ble. When she re­turned to LA, and her shoe busi­ness Mara & Mine, Karl used part of his twom­onth break from tele­vi­sion to travel to the US and spend time with her. Af­ter a fa­ther and son bond­ing trip to Aspen with his el­dest child, 17-year-old Jack­son, over the school hol­i­days, Karl trav­elled sep­a­rately to Los An­ge­les to see Jas­mine, win­ing and din­ing the beau­ti­ful blonde. De­ter­mined to pro­tect their bud­ding romance from prying eyes, Karl made sure he checked into ho­tels un­der fake names, and the cou­ple even trav­elled to and from restau­rants at dif­fer­ent times to avoid the pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing pho­tographed to­gether.

De­spite hav­ing to re­turn to his work com­mit­ments in Aus­tralia – step­ping back into his host­ing role on To­day just a few weeks ago – Karl is de­ter­mined not to let dis­tance ruin this new re­la­tion­ship. Friends say he makes sure he texts Jas­mine to re­as­sure her of his feel­ings. He’s even al­ready met some of her fam­ily – a big move given how close she is to them.

“I think Jas­mine was cau­tious at first be­cause there had been so many ru­mours about Karl dat­ing mul­ti­ple women since his mar­riage ended. But he told her his love life has been ex­ag­ger­ated,” his friend con­fides.

“Karl’s the kind of man who’s happy in a com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ship, and that’s al­ready what he wants with Jas­mine. And the good news is that she feels the same way. I think she knows Karl isn’t an an­gel, but he’s hardly the devil he’s made out to be ei­ther.”

It’s easy to see why Jas­mine would have con­cerns. Since an­nounc­ing his sep­a­ra­tion from Cass, Karl has been linked to a slew of el­i­gi­ble fe­males in­clud­ing Mel­bourne food blog­ger Sofia Levin, Sun­rise host Sa­man­tha Army­tage, Aus­tralian model Ashley Hart, and even his old friend, singer and ac­tress Delta Goodrem, who he is said to have in­un­dated with texts and calls in the early days of his mar­riage break­down. But now it seems he only has eyes for Jas­mine.

Thank­fully, she un­der­stands what it’s like to date some­one fa­mous – prior to meet­ing Karl, she was see­ing the Aus­tralian Wal­la­bies player Drew Mitchell on and off for years.

Friends say Karl is also hop­ing to in­tro­duce Jas­mine to his three chil­dren – Jack­son, Ava, 11, and River, 10 – when she vis­its in April, a sign of how com­mit­ted he re­ally is, as he’s been de­ter­mined to shel­ter his kids from the pub­lic fall­out of his split.

It also fol­lows his ad­mis­sion ear­lier this month that he wants to be more present for his kids, and to “re­build what­ever has hap­pened in the past”.

‘They don’t want to hide – they aren’t ashamed to be to­gether’

Karl doesn’t want to hide his new romance from the pub­lic.

Karl and Cass split in Septem­ber, af­ter a 21-year mar­riage.

Jas­mine is al­most a decade younger than Karl. Meet­ing the Yar­broughs was a big step for the To­day host. The model is very close to her fam­ily.

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