Barnaby's Wife Says She Is 'Deceived, Hurt' By His Baby News
The estranged wife of Barnaby Joyce says she and their four daughters are devastated by the news he's having a baby with a former staffer.
A photograph of the deputy prime minister's pregnant partner on the front page of The Daily Telegraph has triggered a fierce debate about whether the image and accompanying article are an invasion of privacy or matter of public interest.
Natalie Joyce said her husband's former media adviser Vikki Campion, 33, had been a welcome visitor to the family home.
Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion on Facebook
"Naturally we feel deceived and hurt by the actions of Barnaby and the staff member involved," Mrs Joyce told News Corp Australia.
"The situation for myself and the girls has been made worse by the fact it's been played out in public at this time."
Rumours of the affair and pregnancy surfaced during the by-election in Mr Joyce's New England seat in October but weren't publicly confirmed.
After winning the by-election Mr Joyce told federal parliament his 24-year marriage was over.
The couple has reportedly moved in together, and the baby is due in April.
"It's something I view as none of my business," Labor frontbencher Tony Burke told reporters in Canberra.
"This ricochets and affects families. There's a principle here that I've always abided by to not engage in anything that hits the private lives of other members of parliament."
Greens MP Adam Bandt agreed. "I don't really care who Barnaby Joyce or anyone else is sleeping with," he told Sky News.
"Unless it impacts on his job, or unless she chooses voluntarily to step into the public eye, it's not really anyone's business."
However, gay rights campaigner Rodney Croome unloaded on the "hypocrite" deputy prime minister, who had opposed legalising same-sex marriage.
"You can't put the lives of tens of thousands of your fellow citizens under the microscope and then expect to avoid scrutiny yourself," Mr Croome said.