Barnaby Joyce Is Now Saying He Might Not Even Be The Father Of His Ex-Staffer’s Baby
Why... would he say this?
Let me recap: Barnaby Joyce was Deputy Prime Minister, then he had an affair with a staffer, then that staffer fell pregnant, then everyone got mad, then pressure within the National party grew, and then he resigned.
But now the ex-Deputy PM has come out and said, after all that, that the baby at the centre of this entire thing might not even be his.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Joyce said his fatherhood was “a bit of a grey area”.
Joyce said this as part of an attack on the Daily Telegraph, which first broke the news of his affair alongside a paparazzi-style picture of Joyce’s ex-staffer/new partner, Vikki Campion.
“How could they know? They never even asked if it was Joyce’s bundle,” he claimed.
But it turns out Joyce wasn’t telling the truth. Sharri Markson, the journo who first broke the story, explicitly asked whether the child was his.
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
In an email to Joyce’s office, the first question that Markson asked was:
“Is Mr Joyce the father of the baby and when is the baby due?”
The tricky thing is that there actually is some doubt about who the father is. The baby, which is due in early April, was conceived at some point in late June or early July. But Joyce was in Europe last year from June 23 to early July. When he returned to Australia, he had to be acting Prime Minister, which meant there was a lot of security around him at almost all times.
Phillip Coorey, the Australian Financial Review‘s chief political correspondent, told the ABC’s Insiders this morning that the reason he didn’t pursue the story was because he wasn’t convinced that the baby was actually Joyce’s.
“When these rumours were circulating late last year, amidst all the other chaos in Parliament,” Coorey said. “I know personally I was told it wasn’t his baby, when I heard Ms Campion was pregnant, and that was one of the reasons some of us didn’t pursue the story.”
A lot of people are now pretty confused — and not just about whether Joyce resigned due to a false story. Why would the ex-Deputy PM offer up something like this in an interview? And why now? It’s all a bit of a mess.
Barnaby Joyce quits, citing the need to end the media focus bc it's hurtful to those around him…in other news he's given an interview claiming the baby might not even be his: https://t.co/z47EYXUt0o
— Peter van Onselen (@vanOnselenP) March 3, 2018
Here's the FIRST QUESTION @leighsales asked Barnaby Joyce:
"You have not commented yet on front page newspaper reports today that you are in a relationship with one of your former staffers, who is expecting your child. Is that accurate?"
— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) March 3, 2018
Barnaby: media please leave me alone, this is a personal matter, stop harming my family with these embarrassing stories
Also Barnaby: time to give an interview saying it's a 'grey area' whether this kid is mine, & some details about our sexual arrangement https://t.co/yTsjp4SJjD
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) March 3, 2018
Barnaby Joyce, Feb 7: I WILL KEEP PRIVATE MATTERS PRIVATE. IT'S PRIVATE. ALSO PRIVATE AND VERY PRIVATE, HOW VERY DARE YOU.
Barnaby Joyce, March 3: YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED FOR THE ACTUAL DATES AND TIMES WE HAD SEX AND ALSO WHEN MY PARTNER GOT HER PERIOD, YOU FOOLS.
— Dr Julia Baird (@bairdjulia) March 3, 2018
Joyce said he has no plans to take a paternity test.