Barnaby Joyce declares 'anything that's personal in nature is nobody else's business'

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Barnaby Joyce, a member of the Australia Federal Senate, talks during an interview in Canberra, December 2, 2005.
Barnaby Joyce, a member of the Australia Federal Senate, talks during an interview in Canberra, December 2, 2005. Reuters/Tim Wimborne

Australia’s former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has suggested that the paternity of his partner's unborn child is nobody's business. He told reporters on Monday at a press conference that anything personal in nature is a business between only him and partner Vikki Campion.

Joyce suggested that he did not intend to be part of “ongoing litany of discussion” of the issue. His latest statement comes after he told the media that the paternity of his partner's unborn child was unclear.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, he reportedly revealed that the issue of whether he is the biological father of his former media adviser’s baby is "a grey area.” He said he will raise the child as his own.

Joyce previously told Nationals officials that he did not believe he is the father of Campion’s child. The Australian reports that he was asked if Campion was pregnant and whether he could be the father. He reportedly responded that he couldn’t be as he was travelling in Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy around the time of conception, which was between June 23 and July 5.

Joyce's relationship with Campion was exposed after The Daily Telegraph published a front-page story beneath the headline "Bundle of Joyce.” The newspaper’s reporter Sharri Markson maintained that she asked the question regarding the baby's father directly to Joyce's office before the story was published. She said she got no response. The reporter said she addressed the question to Campion, too, but received no response as well.

In a statement, Joyce’s estranged wife Natalie Joyce said she was deeply saddened by the news her husband was "having a child with a former staff member.” The former Nationals leader and former deputy prime minister resigned after the story was published.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson reportedly believes that Joyce may have been trying to sabotage the government. Speaking with the Seven Network, Hanson said that his career is over. Liberal and some Nationals MPs have publicly conceded that his affair has damaged the government.

Joyce decided to speak with Fairfax Media last month from their Armidale apartment to debunk a perception that they were living in a “palace” for free. He said at that time that he wished people can come to the conclusion he is not getting a gold star for his personal life. He believes that the “tide will turn.”