Jessica Rowe left viewers shocked on Friday after announcing her decision to quit Studio 10 in order to spend more time with her family.
And as rumours swirl over the circumstances of her departure, Daily Mail Australia looks back on her colourful television career spanning two decades.
From her humble beginnings as a secretary to hitting the headlines with her ill-fated stint on Channel Nine, there’s no doubt the 47-year-old has left a lasting impression on the industry.
From her humble beginnings as a secretary to THAT ‘boning’ incident at Channel Nine: A look back at Jessica Rowe’s colourful television career as she quits Studio 10. Pictured in 1999
The Sydney native got her start in television as a receptionist for Channel Nine and worked her way up to news presenter for Channel Ten in 1996.
She was thrust into the spotlight in 2006 when she moved to Channel Nine to host the Today show alongside Karl Stefanovic, replacing Tracy Grimshaw.
Scandal struck when Eddie McGuire, then Nine’s chief executive, allegedly asked when he could ‘bone’ Jessica – with reports suggesting the word meant to ‘sack’ her.
He reportedly made the comments during a chat with his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs Mark Llewellyn.
Scandal: Jessica hit the headlines in 2006 when Nine boss Eddie McGuire allegedly asked when he could ‘bone’ Jessica – with reports suggesting the word meant to ‘sack’ her
Oh dear: Jessica was reportedly called a ‘laughing stock’ during a conversation between Eddie, his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs, Mark Llewellyn. Pictured left, in 2000, and right, in 2002
‘What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week,’ McGuire reportedly asked.
Llewellyn then allegedly told McGuire that they might risk also losing Rowe’s husband, Nine reporter Peter Overton.
McGuire is said to have replied, ‘Well, maybe we have to take that risk,’ while Browne added: ‘She’s a laughing stock and if we keep her on air we will be the laughing stock.’
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).
‘Maybe we have to take that risk’: Llewellyn reportedly told McGuire that they might risk also losing Rowe’s husband, Nine reporter Peter Overton (pictured with Peter in 2006)
‘Terribly upset’: Jessica said the words ‘hurt like hell’. The incident happened during her stint on the Today show alongside Karl Stefanovic (pictured together in January 2006)
Discussing the incident a decade on, Jessica said people forget ‘how powerful words can be and how they can hurt like hell’ and how she was still ‘terribly upset’ by it all.
‘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.’
Reinvented: After joining Channel Seven, Jessica’s profile grew when she took part in Dancing With The Stars. Pictured with Elka Graham and Corinne Grant
Illustrious: She moved to Weekend Sunrise in December 2010, replacing Sharyn Ghidella and Sarah Cumming, and stayed there for three years
Rowe left the Today show a year after joining, following her return from maternity leave, and cited payment issues as her reason for departing.
She then joined Channel Seven as a presenter for Seven News in Sydney – and also expanded her public profile by taking part in Dancing With The Stars.
Jessica came seventh on DWTS, competing alongside the likes of Mark Beretta and Patti Newton.
She later moved to Weekend Sunrise in December 2010, replacing Sharyn Ghidella and Sarah Cumming, and stayed there for three years.
Jessica joined Studio 10 in 2013, hosting alongside Ita Buttrose, Joe Hildebrand and Sarah Harris.
Denise Drysdale joined the panel in 2015, and in late 2017 sparked claims of a feud with Ita over a Brussels sprouts throwing incident at a Christmas party.
New development: Jessica joined Studio 10 in 2013, hosting alongside Ita Buttrose, Joe Hildebrand and Sarah Harris
Aside from her television work, Jessica has been working tirelessly to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
She was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for her mental health advocacy.
Jessica has also penned a book called ‘Love, Wisdom, Motherhood’ detailing her experiences of being a parent.
Outspoken: Aside from her television work, Jessica has been working tirelessly to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health
Author: Jessica has also penned a book called ‘Love, Wisdom, Motherhood’ detailing her experiences of being a parent. Pictured with her family last June