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Inside Barnaby Joyce’s scandalous family dynamic

The politician's personal life has made headlines.
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If there’s one Aussie politician whose personal life has captivated the country, it’s Barnaby Joyce.

WATCH BELOW: Everything you need to know about Barnaby Joyce’s second baby

The new Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationals party, 54, previously found himself at the centre of a scandal in 2018 when it was revealed he was in a relationship with his former staffer, Vikki Campion, and they were expecting a child together.

The year before, rumours circled that Barnaby and Vikki were having an affair whilst the politician was still married to his wife, Natalie Abberfield, with whom he shares four daughters – Bridgette, Julia, Caroline, and Odette, 

Barnaby announced that he and Natalie had separated in December 2017 and barely two months later, The Daily Telegraph released an image on their front-page of a heavily pregnant Vikki.

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Barnaby Joyce and his four daughters, whom he shares with ex-wife Natalie Joyce. (Credit: Instagram)

Barnaby and Vikki sat down for an interview shortly after the scandal was exposed and the former Deputy PM urged the public to “move on”.

“The one thing that has deeply annoyed me is that there is somehow an inference that this child is somehow less worthy than other children, and it’s almost spoken about in the third person,” Mr Joyce told Fairfax Media when asked what it meant to become a father again.

“I love my daughters. I have four beautiful daughters and I love them to death. And now I will have a son. I don’t pick winners, I’m not gonna love one more than another, but I’m not going to love one less than another either.”

“I don’t want to say have sympathy for me. I just want people to look clinically at the facts and basically come to the conclusion he is not getting a gold star for his personal life, but he has made a commitment, he is with her, they’re having a child, and in a 2018 world there is nothing terribly much to see there.”

Barnaby and Vikki‘s first son Sebastian was born in April 2018 and then their second son, Thomas, was born in June 2019.

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Pictured: Barnaby, Vikki and their son Sebastian. (Credit: Seven)

Speaking to the Australian Women’s Weekly in 2018, Barnaby’s ex-wife Natalie said that Vikki “wanted my life from the get-go.”

“This was a whole lot more than a fleeting office romance,” she told the magazine.

“The first day I met her, back in 2016, she was so cold. She had come to our family home in Tamworth to pick us up to go campaigning. Then, after watching them at the Nationals Christmas party later that year, I had a feeling they were having an affair. As it turned out, their tawdry union was the worst kept secret in Canberra. I was probably the last silly mug to know.”

To make matters more heart-wrenching, Natalie confessed that the name Sebastian had always been number one on her and Barnaby’s list of favourite boys’ names.

“It felt like another malicious taunt in a very long line of appalling behaviour,” she said of Barnaby and Vikki’s name choice.

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“This was a whole lot more than a fleeting office romance,” Natalie said of her ex-husband’s affair. (Credit: Getty)

Three years on from his own scandal, Barnaby defended Attorney-General Christian Porter and Population Minister Alan Tudge after they were each accused of engaging in affairs during an explosive ABC’s Four Corners investigation that also allegedly took place in 2017.

“My actions three years ago, and two children ago, were neither admirable or unique,” Barnaby told Sunrise in November 2020.

“The ‘bonking ban’ was not a ‘bonking ban’, it was a Barnaby ban, because people knew of others, including Mr Turnbull.”

He added: “When he went out and did the tale of woe speech, I was pretty annoyed by that because he said ‘Barnaby has done that’, which fair enough I had, but if he was going to be complete about it, then he should be talking about others.”

In February 2018, Barnaby resigned from his post as Deputy PM but continued his political career as the Nationals Member for New England. In June 2021, he defeated former leader Michael McCormack in a very close contest after years of seeking a return to his party’s leadership and has resumed his position in Australia’s second highest office.

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