In a further, suitably insane twist to the tale of Barnaby Joyce, the disgraced former deputy PM has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he may not be the biological father of his former staffer Vikki Campion‘s baby, as we’ve assumed all this time.
Campion is due to give birth to a boy next month, and Joyce says that while he will love and raise the child as his own, the matter of parentage is a “grey area”, as the pair’s travel schedules kept them separate around the time conception would have occurred.
Why the hell would Barnaby Joyce come out and say this? It seems that he’s upset with the way the media handled his affair, and wants to prove the point that reporters didn’t do their homework, since nobody ever bothered to ask if his pregnant girlfriend was carrying his child.
That’s one hell of a technicality, but Joyce says that The Daily Telegraph, who first broke the story of the affair, never bothered to specifically ask the couple any questions about paternity before running a picture of a pregnant Campion on their front page.
“How could they know?” he said, referring to the paper’s ‘Bundle Of Joyce’ headline. “They never even asked if it was Joyce’s bundle.”
The Sydney Morning Herald dispute this point, saying the Telegraph did in fact contact Joyce’s office the day prior to running the story, emailing him a list of questions and specifically asking: “Is Mr Joyce the father of the baby and when is the baby due?”
Journalist Sharri Markson has since backed this up, sharing a copy of the email in question:
Here’s the email where, contrary to his quotes in Fairfax, I directly ask Barnaby Joyce, before publication, if the baby is his and ask him to confirm he had already told his wife and daughters. We published the story when we were satisfied he was treating the unborn as his own. pic.twitter.com/sKNBjCaqKP
— Sharri Markson (@SharriMarkson) March 3, 2018
Reportedly, the question of paternity didn’t come up when Joyce sat down to talk with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull prior to his resignation from cabinet. It’s … sort of strange that he himself didn’t bring the issue up as a point in his defense, but whatever, you do you, Barnaby.
Irrespective of parentage, Joyce maintains that he’ll still be a father to the child. “It’s mine, on the record, there it is,” he told the SMH. “And can I say, even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t care, I’d still go through this, I’d still love him.”
Where will this story take us next?