Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s estranged wife Natalie Joyce has spoken about the “devastating” revelation he is expecting a baby with a former staffer.

In a statement obtained by The Australian, Joyce addressed the news her husband and former media advisor Vikki Campion are expecting their first child by saying the affair had started while Campion was still on the National Party’s payroll.

“I am deeply saddened by the news that my husband is now having a child with a former staff member,” Joyce said. “I understand that this has been going on for many months and started when she was a paid employee.”

This situation is devastating on many fronts. For my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years, who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life.

Our family life has had to be shared during Barnaby’s political career and it was with trust that we let campaign and office staff into our homes and into our lives. Naturally we also feel hurt by the actions of Barnaby and the staff member involved.

The situation for myself and the girls will be made worse by the fact that this will all be played out in public so at this time, I would ask that the girls and I are given some privacy and time to come to terms with the consequences and take steps to plan our future.

Neither Barnaby Joyce nor Campion have directly addressed the media about the revelation, which had been a topic of speculation for months in Australia’s political and journalistic circles.

Barnaby Joyce admitted late last year his 24-year-long marriage had broken down.

The conservative, who advocated for retaining the former definition of marriage during last year’s postal survey, has moved in with Campion in the lead-up to an expected April due date.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan declined to comment on the matter when asked by ABC Radio, indicating it was a private matter.

Similarly, Labor MP Chris Bowen told parliament his party had no formal statement on the matter, despite being aware of the situation for six months.

“In terms of his personal life, I wish him nothing but the best, and his family nothing but the best,” Bowen said, “and I have absolutely nothing else to say on the matter.”

Source: The Australian
Image: Stefan Postles / Getty