AFTER a tumultuous year that saw her split from Karl Stefanovic become tangled in tabloid headlines, Cassandra Thorburn is optimistic about her new life.
"This is my second chance to have the life I truly deserve," the 46-year-old has told Woman's Day.
"I've really turned a corner - I often look back and am comforted at just how far I've come. I'm unstoppable and I've never felt more empowered."
Since the end of her 21-year marriage to the high-profile Today host, the pair have been pitted against each other in tabloid stories as details of their separation - and Stefanovic's new romance with 34-year-old designer Jasmine Yarbrough - trickled out.
While Stefanovic was snapped by paps jetting off to Los Angeles with Yarbrough over the Christmas holidays, grainy photographs of a bikini-clad Thorburn taken on a Queensland getaway were shopped around by a paparazzi agency.
"I was photographed completely unaware wearing my bathers. They're very unflattering - what mum wouldn't relate," she said.
Thorburn said what made the situation "sad" was the fact the three kids she shares with Stefanovic thought it was "the best holiday ever".
In what could be described as a revenge photo shoot to get back at the sly paparazzi, Thorburn posed in her bikini for Woman's Day and shared her thoughts on body image.
"I'm unwilling to believe my weight defines me or any woman," she said.
The former journalist, who's about to release her first children's book, told the publication she's optimistic about the coming year.
"There's a light always at the end of some pretty dark tunnels - trust me, there really is," she said.