Former Today host spills on 'resentment' towards Karl Stefanovic

Former Today co-host Jessica Rowe has spilled details on her bitter feelings towards Karl Stefanovic.

On the latest episode of her podcast The Jess Rowe Big Talk Show, she spoke about the feelings of "resentment and bitterness" she had been holding onto since she was brutally sacked from Nine in 2007.

When Jess took over from Tracy Grimshaw in 2006, she was immediately criticised for not having enough chemistry with Karl, as well as copping numerous attacks over her hair, laugh and weight.

Jess took time off for maternity leave in 2007 and was soon let go over reported "payment disputes", however, it was soon alleged that then-CEO Eddie McGuire had pushed for her sacking during a meeting with executives.

Jess never had a conversation about her departure with her former co-host until last year when he appeared on her podcast to apologise for not doing more to protect her.

Jessica Rowe laughs and looks at Karl Stefanovic.
Jessica Rowe and Karl Stefanovic hosted the Today show together in 2006. Source: AAP

Revealing more details about her history with Karl on her latest podcast episode, Jess said her time co-hosting was "pretty rocky ... and that's an understatement".

She spoke about how Karl "generously" had a conversation with her on her podcast last year, and at the time she was still holding onto her issues.

“From my perspective, there was bitterness and resentment,” she said.

“And I don’t like feeling like that, because it eats you up. They’re such negative emotions. But for me, I found it hard to move past that. There was always this part of me that felt heavy, or I’d look at Karl’s success and there’d be a part of me that would feel jealous and resentful: ‘Hey, why is that happening to you, and it’s not happening to me?’”


During the podcast last year, Karl addressed the issues between them, speaking to her about it for the first time.

"There was no protection and there was nothing and, you know, at the end of the day it taught me to be tough and it taught me to have a thick skin and to be able to know where the line is but it did take me a long time to get there," Karl said.

"And unfortunately for you, it was like, you didn't have a guy next to you, who could have protected you and helped you in the way that I should have and for that, I'm always sorry."

Jess Rowe sits in the window of a hotel room.
Jess Rowe said she felt free after her conversation with Karl Stefanovic. Source: Instagram

Speaking in her latest podcast episode, Jess said both she and Karl were nervous when he sat down for their chat last year.

She added his apology had finally freed her of the resentment she had been holding towards her former co-host.

“Hearing those words from Karl meant so much to me and I hadn’t expected it to have the impact that it did,” she said.

“It lifted a weight that I’d been carrying. I didn’t mean to be carrying it, but it was there. It was my baggage and I felt lighter after our conversation.”

She added she was "forever grateful" to Karl for addressing the issue and being open about the situation.

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