IT was the mystery disappearance that had TV audiences scratching their heads.
But Karl Stefanovic’s abrupt departure from his hosting duties on Today last week was, in fact, a well-orchestrated plot to avoid paparazzi and embark on yet another romantic tropical getaway with girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough.
The Sunday Telegraph revealed Stefanovic and his shoe-designer girlfriend are soaking up the sun in the Polynesian playground Bora Bora aboard the mega-yacht of Stefanovic’s best pal James Packer.
The trio are among a small group enjoying a lavish stay aboard Packer’s 87m converted icebreaker Arctic P for the next few days.
It is understood Stefanovic, who took time off work to spend two weeks in Hawaii with Yarbrough back in May, left nothing to chance this time around, secretly bolting from Nine’s studios shortly before 8am on Thursday.
With the paparazzi caught snoozing, he was whisked to Sydney International Airport where it is believed he jumped on a 9.40am flight to Auckland before catching two further connecting flights to Bora Bora.
It’s there he was reunited with Yarbrough, who had arrived in the tropical paradise several days earlier, hinting at her location on Facebook with some poolside snaps captioned: “Nope … not coming home.”
The pair are due back in Sydney on Wednesday evening, with Stefanovic expected to return to his hosting duties on Thursday morning.
His manager Sharon Finnigan declined to comment yesterday on the latest tropical tryst for Stefanovic, who recently came to a financial settlement with ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn.
Nine, too, refrained from weighing in though a spokeswoman did confirm last week the network’s highest-paid presenter was taking a “few days leave”.
Originally published as Why Karl disappeared from Today