It was the highly controversial, highly promoted interview which divided the nation. The Channel Seven Sunday Night program sat down with Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion, in their ‘tell-all’ interview. But what did we actually learn?
The program, hosted by Alex Cullen, dug deep into the history of the affair, talked about other people in their lives and broached the subject of pressure from Canberra, including termination.
The program opened with Vikki Campion apologizing to everyone who was hurt from the affair between her and the former Deputy Prime Minister. Including her six week old son Sebastian (affectionately known as Seb).
The pair received $150,000 for the interview. A move which received criticism from Federal Politicians to voters in Mr Joyce’s electorate. They justified the move by stating the money is to go into an account for Seb.
“I’ve always said I’d never talk about this, but when you’re walking around with a three week old baby getting ‘papped’ [Photographed]. Everyone else is making money out of this kid, we decided he should make some money,” Ms Campion said.
When asked about similarities between the baby and his politician father, Ms Campion and Mr Joyce both laughed and said his skin changed colour with his emotion, a trait often associated with Barnaby.
The pair discussed the history of their affair.
“I think we were close for a long time before there was anything,” Ms Campion said.
I think we were close for a long time before there was anything.Vikki Campion.
“A long time after people thought we had,” Mr Joyce added.
When they first got together both Ms Campion and Mr Joyce were “going through personal issues.”
“Very slowly it went from a personal to a professional relationship,” Ms Campion said.
When Mr Cullen asked who made the first move between the pair Mr Joyce wouldn’t answer.
“When did it happen with your missus?” he asked Mr Cullen.
“Straight away,” the reporter smiled back.
“It’s more organic than that, it’s more professional than that,” Mr Joyce said.
“The ramifications were huge for us,” Ms Campion added.
When asked about his marriage failing, Mr Joyce would not talk about wife Natalie Joyce.
“I would never say anything to them on National television I would say it to them in person,” he said.
“I know how to stop a question and I’m stopping that one.”
Ms Campion acknowledged there were words exchanged between herself and Mrs Joyce but refused to speak about it as well.
“I was living a lie, it’s something I’m not proud of, I don’t want to make excuses, the fault is mine,” Mr Joyce said.
“I did the wrong thing. You try and fix this up and sort this out, but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”
When asked about the positive pregnancy test Ms Campion got emotion saying she didn’t feel excitement when she read it.
“I think I was overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation,” she said.
“I don’t believe in abortion, I just knew straight away I was going to lose my job as Deputy Prime Minister, all I was doing was hoping and praying for a healthy baby,” Mr Joyce said.
Ms Campion said she considered abortion and couldn’t go through with it.
Everything changed for the couple in February this year when Mrs Campion was snapped by a News Limited photographer and her photo was on the front page of The Daily Telegraph with the title ‘Bundle of Joyce.’
“I was looking down the camera thinking is that a photographer I worked with for eight years,” Ms Campion said.
“I accept there was the public interest question, the way they did it was wrong. They [the media] harassed our friends, they harassed our family.”
Mr Joyce said he told his wife and children before the front page photo dropped so they heard it from him.
“I couldn’t give a shit about the political ramifications,” he said.
I couldn’t give a shit about the political ramifications.Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Cullen brought up the Bonk Ban, which was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull throughout the Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion saga. The Ban prohibits politicians from engaging in sexual relationships with staffers, whether they are single or married.
“I did not expect the Prime Minister to do a door sop on it, that was wrong,” Mr Joyce said.
“You can chew out your vice captain in the locker room but not on the field,” Ms Campion said.
Mr Joyce said when he questioned the paternity of Seb, it was a decision they made together.
“It was a decision we made together,” he said.
“I didn’t say use the words grey area,” she said.
Mr Joyce said the couple were struggling due to the media pressure.
“If I locked you in this house and had drones at your window and were being fed through the back fence you would say something a little crazy,” he said.
The jaw-dropping moment of the interview took place in the last 15 minutes. When Ms Campion revealed conservative members of the National Party instructed her to terminate the pregnancy.
“They came up to me, they said you’re pregnant, you have to get an abortion, and I said it’s too late, it has a heartbeat,” she said.
“They said if you don’t they’re going to come after you, and they did.”
Ms Campion wouldn’t give any names, but said they are conservative, God-fearing members of the Nationals Party.
“That’s the hideous people you can involved yourself with, they’ll say that to a woman, you terminate or you’ll lose your career in this building,” Mr Joyce said.