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Every claim from Lisa Wilkinson’s memoir takedown of Karl Stefanovic fact-checked

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Lisa Wilkinson’s autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, doesn’t hit store shelves until next month, but her sensational account of her sacking from Channel Nine in 2017 is already being disputed.

Readers have had glimpses of the book in extracts published by News Corp papers, but several claims she makes have been challenged by industry insiders, who accuse her of omitting key facts and embellishing the truth.

Here are all the disputed claims from Wilkinson’s memoir, allowing readers to decide for themselves whether it should be categorised under ‘fact’ or ‘fiction’.

Lisa Wilkinson’s autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, doesn’t hit store shelves until next month, but her sensational account of her sacking from Channel Nine in 2017 is already being disputed 

Claim 1: Lisa says Karl snubbed her wedding. Fact: The guests didn’t know it was a wedding

Wilkinson’s claim that Stefanovic intentionally ‘snubbed’ her vow renewals with husband Pete FitzSimons has been disputed by guests who attended the event. 

The Sunday Project host says Stefanovic’s no-show at the October 2017 event was the final straw for their troubled relationship – even going so far as to imply he refused the invitation because he knew she was about to get sacked from Nine. 

Wilkinson's claim that Stefanovic intentionally 'snubbed' her vow renewals with husband Pete FitzSimons has been disputed by guests who attended the event.  Pictured together at the TV Week Logie Awards in Melbourne on Sunday, May 3, 2015

Wilkinson’s claim that Stefanovic intentionally ‘snubbed’ her vow renewals with husband Pete FitzSimons has been disputed by guests who attended the event.  Pictured together at the TV Week Logie Awards in Melbourne on Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Sunday Project host says Stefanovic's no-show at the October 2017 event was the final straw for their troubled relationship - even going so far as to imply he refused the invitation because he knew she was about to get sacked from Nine. Pictured: Wilkinson and her husband Peter FitzSimons at their vow renewal ceremony on October 6, 2017

The Sunday Project host says Stefanovic’s no-show at the October 2017 event was the final straw for their troubled relationship – even going so far as to imply he refused the invitation because he knew she was about to get sacked from Nine. Pictured: Wilkinson and her husband Peter FitzSimons at their vow renewal ceremony on October 6, 2017

But this narrative has been disputed by guests who attended the ceremony, many of whom told The Australian they didn’t know it was a wedding until they arrived.

If this was the case and Stefanovic hadn’t been told ahead of time the event was to celebrate Wilkinson and FitzSimons renewing their vows, then his decision to pull out at the last minute arguably wasn’t the snub Wilkinson is making it out to be.

It’s unclear if Stefanovic was made aware his co-anchor and her husband of 25 years were planning to renew their vows, or if he was simply told it was a party.

Regardless of what he knew, Wilkinson took Stefanovic’s last-minute cancellation to heart, and it effectively marked the end of their personal and professional relationship. 

This narrative has been disputed by guests who attended the ceremony, many of whom told The Australian they didn't know it was a wedding until they arrived. (Wilkinson and FitzSimons are pictured at the ceremony with their children, Billi, Jake and Louis)

This narrative has been disputed by guests who attended the ceremony, many of whom told The Australian they didn’t know it was a wedding until they arrived. (Wilkinson and FitzSimons are pictured at the ceremony with their children, Billi, Jake and Louis)

If this was the case and Stefanovic hadn't been told ahead of time the event was to celebrate Wilkinson and FitzSimons renewing their vows, then his decision to pull out at the last minute arguably wasn't the snub Wilkinson is making it out to be. Pictured on June 28, 2007, in Sydney

If this was the case and Stefanovic hadn’t been told ahead of time the event was to celebrate Wilkinson and FitzSimons renewing their vows, then his decision to pull out at the last minute arguably wasn’t the snub Wilkinson is making it out to be. Pictured on June 28, 2007, in Sydney

Claim 2: Karl was paid more than Lisa. Fact: Lisa was actually paid more than him for years

Lisa’s book includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute.

She alleges Stefanovic proposed in August 2015 they join forces to renegotiate their Nine contracts – not unlike how the cast of American sitcom Friends famously worked together to broker better deals with NBC.

But she claims he ended up ditching this idea and instead played rival networks Nine and Seven off against each other in order to secure a better deal for himself.

Lisa's book includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute

Lisa’s book includes a chapter dedicated to her sacking from Channel Nine and falling out with Stefanovic over a pay dispute

‘Weeks later… the media became awash with stories that Stefanovic was restless at Today and looking for greener pastures – and more civilised working hours – at Channel Seven,’ she wrote.

Stefanovic was soon at the centre of a bidding war between Nine and Seven that resulted in him re-signing a five-year deal with Nine worth at least $2million per year.

Wilkinson’s deal was worth significantly less, about $780,000 a year, and was only for two years.

‘There was no doubt about it: Karl certainly knew the art of the deal,’ she wrote, adding that the resulting pay disparity between them ‘was so off the charts that no-one would have believed it’. 

However, this allegedly doesn’t tell the full story.

News.com.au reported last week Wilkinson had in fact earned more than Stefanovic for years when they first joined forces on Today, and it was only at the end of their partnership that the roles reversed.

However, this allegedly doesn't tell the full story, with News.com.au reporting last week Wilkinson had in fact earned more than Stefanovic for years when they first joined forces on Today, and it was only at the end of their partnership that the roles reversed. The article, by journalist Samantha Maiden (pictured), reportedly sent the book's publisher into a major spin

However, this allegedly doesn’t tell the full story, with News.com.au reporting last week Wilkinson had in fact earned more than Stefanovic for years when they first joined forces on Today, and it was only at the end of their partnership that the roles reversed. The article, by journalist Samantha Maiden (pictured), reportedly sent the book’s publisher into a major spin

Harper Collins Australia demanded a preview copy of the memoir be returned by the news website following publication of the story, well-placed sources told Daily Mail Australia

Harper Collins Australia demanded a preview copy of the memoir be returned by the news website following publication of the story, well-placed sources told Daily Mail Australia 

This article – which challenges Wilkinson’s most significant claim about her exit from the Today show – reportedly sent the book’s publisher into a major spin.

Harper Collins Australia demanded a preview copy of the memoir be returned by the news website following publication of the story, sources told Daily Mail Australia.

In the piece, written by respected political journalist Samantha Maiden, sources at Nine disputed Wilkinson’s claims that Stefanovic was ‘paid double’ what she earned. 

In fact, they claim it was Wilkinson who was paid much more than Stefanovic for ‘many years’ after the pair first teamed up on Nine’s breakfast flagship in 2006. 

‘News.com.au understands that when she first signed with Nine in 2006 she was earning more than $700,000. The fresh-faced Stefanovic, who had just returned from a reporting stint in Los Angeles, earned less than half that amount for years as the TV couple co-hosted Nine’s breakfast TV program,’ the article states.

It was only several years later that Stefanovic would negotiate his way into a now-infamous pay rise that saw his salary explode to $2million a year. 

Wilkinson claimed Stefanovic had given her the cold shoulder in the weeks prior to her sacking, which was prompted when she asked for a significant pay rise

Wilkinson claimed Stefanovic had given her the cold shoulder in the weeks prior to her sacking, which was prompted when she asked for a significant pay rise

Claim 3: Karl didn’t ask about her wedding on her last day on Today. Fact: Footage from the broadcast shows he did ask  

In her book, Wilkinson claims Stefanovic gave her the cold shoulder in the weeks prior to her sacking, which was prompted when she asked for a significant pay rise.

She alleged she and FitzSimons had invited Stefanovic and his partner, Jasmine Yarbrough, to attend their 25th anniversary vow renewal ceremony in October 2017.

Two days before the event, however, Stefanovic supposedly contacted FitzSimons to say they wouldn’t be attending because they’d extended their overseas holiday.

She alleged she and FitzSimons had invited Stefanovic and his partner, Jasmine Yarbrough (right), to attend their 25th anniversary vow renewal ceremony in October 2017

She alleged she and FitzSimons had invited Stefanovic and his partner, Jasmine Yarbrough (right), to attend their 25th anniversary vow renewal ceremony in October 2017

Two days before the event, however, Stefanovic supposedly contacted FitzSimons (right) to say they wouldn't be attending because they'd extended their overseas holiday

Two days before the event, however, Stefanovic supposedly contacted FitzSimons (right) to say they wouldn’t be attending because they’d extended their overseas holiday

‘In the ten days since [the ceremony] Karl hadn’t contacted me, his co-host of almost eleven years, at all. No phone message, no text, no apology, not even a simple congrats. Just complete silence,’ Wilkinson alleged.

After returning to work, she claimed Stefanovic did not ask her about her holidays, nor did he apologise for being a ‘no-show at the wedding’.

‘For the next two hours, I exchanged not a single word with Karl outside of what was scripted – because for the first time, I just didn’t trust myself to “play nice”,’ she said.

However, her recollection of her last show has also been challenged, with resurfaced footage showing Stefanovic had in fact said to her: ‘It’s a big welcome back to Lisa. Nice to see you again. How was your honeymoon?’ 

After returning to work, she claimed Stefanovic did not ask her about her holidays, nor did he apologise for being a 'no-show at the wedding'

After returning to work, she claimed Stefanovic did not ask her about her holidays, nor did he apologise for being a ‘no-show at the wedding’

However, her recollection of her last show has also been disputed, with resurfaced footage showing Stefanovic had in fact said to her: 'It's a big welcome back to Lisa. Nice to see you again. How was your honeymoon?'

However, her recollection of her last show has also been disputed, with resurfaced footage showing Stefanovic had in fact said to her: ‘It’s a big welcome back to Lisa. Nice to see you again. How was your honeymoon?’

Claim 4: Lisa says Karl dominated the interviews and segments on her last day. Fact: Documents suggest they equally participated

Wilkinson also recalled feeling frustrated and ‘quietly fuming’ during her last day on air because ‘nearly every interview that day was being done by Karl alone’.

‘For two hours, I sat there feeling completely useless. The Today Show was now The Karl Show. What was the point of me even being there?’ she wrote.

However, The Australian has disputed this claim. 

Wilkinson also recalled feeling frustrated and 'quietly fuming' during her last day on air because 'nearly every interview that day was being done by Karl alone'

Wilkinson also recalled feeling frustrated and ‘quietly fuming’ during her last day on air because ‘nearly every interview that day was being done by Karl alone’

The Australian obtained internal documents showing 'an almost equal split' between Wilkinson and Stefanovic's roles 'in the key segments and interviews' during her last day on air

The Australian obtained internal documents showing ‘an almost equal split’ between Wilkinson and Stefanovic’s roles ‘in the key segments and interviews’ during her last day on air

The publication obtained internal documents showing ‘an almost equal split’ between Wilkinson and Stefanovic’s roles ‘in the key segments and interviews’ during her last day on air.

Respected entertainment reporter Peter Ford echoed The Australian’s report during his segment on Wednesday’s 6PR Breakfast. 

‘I’ve got the rundown [from Wilkinson’s last day on Today] in front of me, and she didn’t get the lead story that day… but the rest of the show is a very even spread between Karl and Lisa.’

‘What she’s saying doesn’t stack up, and there’s actual evidence,’ he added. 

Respected entertainment reporter Peter Ford (pictured) echoed The Australian's report during his segment on Wednesday's 6PR Breakfast. 'I've got the rundown [from Wilkinson's last day on Today] in front of me, and she didn't get the lead story that day... but the rest of the show is a very even spread between Karl and Lisa'

Respected entertainment reporter Peter Ford (pictured) echoed The Australian’s report during his segment on Wednesday’s 6PR Breakfast. ‘I’ve got the rundown [from Wilkinson’s last day on Today] in front of me, and she didn’t get the lead story that day… but the rest of the show is a very even spread between Karl and Lisa’

Claim 5: Lisa says Airlie Walsh read the early morning news report on her last day; Fact: It was Kate Creedon 

Another factual error in Wilkinson’s book, albeit minor, is her recollection of arriving at the Channel Nine studios on what would be her last day at the Today show.

She recalled arriving to work ahead of the 5.15am live news cross, which she claimed was read by reporter Airlie Walsh.

However, footage shows it was actually reporter Kate Creedon who read the bulletin.

Another factual error in Wilkinson's book, albeit minor, is her recollection of arriving at the Channel Nine studios on what would be her last day at the Today show. She recalled arriving to work ahead of the 5.15am live news cross, which she claimed was read by reporter Airlie Walsh. However, footage shows it was actually reporter Kate Creedon who read the bulletin

Another factual error in Wilkinson’s book, albeit minor, is her recollection of arriving at the Channel Nine studios on what would be her last day at the Today show. She recalled arriving to work ahead of the 5.15am live news cross, which she claimed was read by reporter Airlie Walsh. However, footage shows it was actually reporter Kate Creedon who read the bulletin 

Discussing this discrepancy on 6PR Breakfast, Ford said: ‘[Wilkinson] described in her book extract where, at quarter past five in the morning, Karl threw to Airlie Walsh – and Airlie Walsh wasn’t reading the news that day.

‘So, I know that’s a little thing, but if you’re going to get little things wrong people are going to start to doubt the entire thing.’

Meanwhile, leading TV commentator Rob McKnight said Wilkinson’s book had ‘backfired’ after several of its claims were challenged.

Ford tweeted of Wilkinson's book on Wednesday: 'I've obtained more exclusive

Ford tweeted of Wilkinson’s book on Wednesday: ‘I’ve obtained more exclusive “alternate facts” about Lisa’s last day at Today. Increasingly more and more of what she claims simply didn’t happen’ 

McKnight, a former Nine executive, told Daily Mail Australia last week: ‘To be honest, I reckon we’ve heard the juiciest stuff [in extracts].

‘The fact is she used that to sell it and it’s so backfired. She’s lost control of the narrative. She was really trying to use gender inequality and it’s really backfired.’ 

Lisa Wilkinson’s It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This is released on November 1

'She tried to use gender inequality and it's really backfired': TV commentator Rob McKnight (pictured) said Wilkinson's book had 'backfired' after several of its claims were challenged

‘She tried to use gender inequality and it’s really backfired’: TV commentator Rob McKnight (pictured) said Wilkinson’s book had ‘backfired’ after several of its claims were challenged

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