Channel Nine has strenuously denied claims that Today anchor Georgie Gardner was ‘paid off’ by network executives after Karl Stefanovic’s infamous Ubergate leak.
On Monday, Karl’s ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn was quoted in New Idea as claiming Nine ‘threw money’ at Georgie after she was publicly embarrassed by the scandal.
However, Nine’s national director of news and current affairs Darren Wick has shut down any suggestion of a ‘pay off’.
‘Disgusting and completely wrong’: Channel Nine has issued a withering statement after Cassandra Thorburn (pictured) said Georgie Gardner was ‘paid off’ by the network following Karl Stefanovic’s Ubergate scandal
‘I think the allegations are disgusting and they’re completely wrong, they’re completely untrue,’ Mr Wick told the Sydney Morning Herald, which owned by Nine.
‘There’s no suggestion of us paying anyone. We don’t do that, I’ve never heard of it being done, it’s just a ludicrous claim.’
Mr Wick went on to insist that Georgie – who he described as ‘wonderful’ – and Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks would never entertain the thought of such an arrangement.
He continued: ‘I think it’s insulting. For an attack on [Georgie] like this, I personally think it’s outrageous. And frankly, gutless. It’s also just plain ridiculous.’
‘This was her opportunity to stand up for women!’ On Monday, Cassandra (left) was quoted by New Idea as saying Georgie (right) was ‘paid off’ by Channel Nine after the Ubergate scandal
In an interview published by New Idea this week, Cassandra suggested that Georgie was ‘paid off’ by Channel Nine following Karl Stefanovic’s infamous Ubergate scandal, in which he was heard criticising his colleague in a private conversation.
‘This was her [Georgie’s] opportunity to stand up for women,’ she raged, before adding: ‘I guess they [Nine] threw extra money at her.’
The mother-of-three further alleged that Georgie used her Today show ‘pay-off’ to move into a swanky new mansion in Sydney’s Mosman.
Extraordinary claims: Cassandra told New Idea that she believed Nine ‘threw extra money’ at Georgie to placate her. Pictured: Georgie and Karl in Sydney on October 17, 2018
In October, approximately seven months after Ubergate, Georgie and her husband Tim Baker sold their Artarmon property for $4.2million and moved into their palatial six-bedroom Mosman home worth $6million.
Back in March, Karl was overheard by an Uber driver badmouthing Georgie during a private phone call with his brother, Peter Stefanovic.
In the ‘b**chy’ 45-minute phone conversation, Karl ‘angrily’ complained about Georgie, saying she needed to ‘step up… if she wanted to stay on the [Today] show.’
Details of the phone call were later published by New Idea, which is owned by Nine’s commercial rival Seven West Media.
Moving up? The mother-of-three further alleged that Georgie used her Today show ‘pay-off’ to move into a swanky new mansion in Sydney’s Mosman (pictured)
Past and present: Karl split with Cassandra (left) in 2016 after 21 years of marriage, before finding love with shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough (right), who is nine years his junior
Karl separated from Cassandra in mid-2016 after 21 years of marriage.
A few months later, Karl started dating glamorous shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, 34, who is nine years his junior.
The couple tied the knot in a lavish Mexican ceremony last weekend, which prompted Cassandra to launch into a furious ‘tirade’ against her ex-husband at Sydney Airport the day after the wedding.
‘He’s thrown three weddings for goodness sake. Who needs three weddings in a year? Give us a break,’ Cassandra was quoted as telling a reporter.
‘Three weddings and a funeral. We had a funeral and it was my dad’s.’
Cassandra’s funeral reference concerned the death of her father, journalist Max Thorburn, who lost his battle with cancer in October.
She reportedly then said: ‘I’ve done a lot of reading about narcissism… Everything he says is about this fake person who lives in this fake castle, it’s not real.’
The children’s author later denied any ‘interview or rant’ took place in a statement to Daily Mail Australia.
Get over it already! Cassandra and Karl were married for 21 years before splitting in 2016 – and it seems she is determined to have the last word. Pictured in Sydney on September 5, 2018