Barnaby Joyce has told the media the paternity of his partner’s unborn child is “nobody’s business”, just a day after telling the world he is not sure he’s the father.
In an interview with Fairfax Media published on Sunday, Mr Joyce said the issue of whether he was the biological father of the child he is expecting with his former media adviser Vikki Campion was “a grey area”.
At a press conference Monday, Mr Joyce told reporters asking about his comments on the baby’s paternity that it was “nobody’s business but mine and Vikki’s”.
“Anything that’s personal in nature is nobody else’s business but mine and Vikki’s. So we’re not here to be part of some ongoing litany of discussion about this,” he told media in Tamworth.
Mr Joyce went into detail about the reasons there may have been a question mark around the paternity issue in the Fairfax interview, but specified he would not be getting a paternity test and was planning to raise the child as his own regardless of who the father is.
Hours after the story was published, Mr Joyce released a statement saying he and Ms Campion felt they had “no choice but to tell the story” given media requests and continued paparazzi attention.
In February, The Daily Telegraph revealed Mr Joyce’s relationship with his former staffer, Ms Campion, by publishing a front page story complete with photos of her pregnant, beneath the headline “Bundle of Joyce”.
She is due to have the baby in just over a month.
At the time, the newspaper said the pair was expecting a child together, and its reporter Sharri Markson insisted she put the question of whether Mr Joyce was the father directly to his office before her story was published.
She said she received no response to that specific question.
She said she addressed the same question to Ms Campion and received no response.
Further adding to impressions Mr Joyce is the father, his estranged wife Natalie Joyce released a statement soon after the original story, saying she was deeply saddened by the news her husband was “having a child with a former staff member”.
Mr Joyce resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and leader of The Nationals almost three weeks after the article was published, with questions swirling over the spending of taxpayer money on Ms Campion’s jobs within government.