Lisa Wilkinson has revealed the moment she was "humiliated" and "betrayed" by her former employer, Channel 9, when she was "dismissed" from the network's breakfast program.
The Project host sat down for an interview with journalist Hamish Macdonald to discuss her upcoming memoir — It Wasn't Meant To Be Like This – when asked about how she found out she'd no longer be a part of the Today Show line-up in October 2017.
"I was standing in aisle six at Woollies holding a can of tuna [when she got the call from management]," Wilkinson explained.
"I felt stupid and humiliated and betrayed and pretty pathetic."
Wilkinson said the idea of her dismissal was to "humiliate" her, because she'd been in negotiations to try to close the pay gab with her co-host of 10 years, Karl Stefanovic.
"No one knew I had this offer from Channel 10. I think the idea was to humiliate me because I'd been in negotiations to try and close the gender pay gap," she said.
Wilkinson revealed that the pay gap she had with her co-host Stefanovic was rather significant.
"Doesn't get much bigger than the gap that I experienced," shared Wilkinson. "I was very expendable. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to the audience. I was told, 'That's it'."
Wilkinson, who worked side-by-side with Stefanovic for a decade on the breakfast show, said she no longer has a relationship with him.
"We are not really in touch," she admitted, adding she was "hurt" by their subsequent breakdown after she exited the breakfast show.
"But you pick up and you move on — and that's exactly what I did."
It's perhaps a surprising admission from Wilkinson, given the pair appeared to publicly continue their friendship, posing for photos during a lunch together weeks after the headline-making departure.
In a subsequent interview with Stellar, Wilkinson said she at the time, there was a lot of information said about her departure for Channel 9 that was "untrue".
"It was quite shocking some of the narrative that was put out there by my previous employer," she told the News Corp publication.
"I feel that there was a lot that was said that was untrue. And I won't say that some of the things I read weren't pretty painful."
Wilkinson has vowed to leave "no stone unturned" in the autobiography, which runs to almost 500 pages and tracks her incredible rise through Australia's media ranks, from being the youngest editor of Dolly magazine at just 21, to becoming the international editor-in-chief of Cleo, to her move into the TV world in the 90s as a panellist on beloved daytime show Beauty and the Beast.
In an Instagram post Wilkinson said the book "tells the story of how this magazine-junkie kid from (proudly) the western suburbs of Sydney, worked hard to survive the bumps and bruises of my teenage years, and went on to find myself in situations and places I could have once only ever dreamt about".
She said the tell-all would disclose many long-held secrets.
"In it, I've completely opened up on things I've never talked about before, not even with some of my closest girlfriends," she said. "I've left no stone unturned, particularly when it comes to some of the more public moments you've seen in the headlines. Now, you'll know the truth."