Barnaby’s ‘tawdry’ book: Why Vikki had him on cloud 9
BARNABY Joyce admits he never "in his wildest dreams" imagined he would still be deputy prime minister at the start of this year, saying it was "amazing" he kept his affair with ex-staffer Vikki Campion under wraps for so long.
In his rambling new book, Mr Joyce details how and why he decided to cheat on his wife of 24 years with the "street smart" Ms Campion.
"Vikki liked reading and I liked reading," he gushes at one point. "Vikki loved bushwalking … I love bushwalking and botany. Vikki would take pictures of clouds."
The former Nationals leader also said it "infuriated" him that "people thought Vikki was some little child I had picked up at the shops".
"It infuriated Vikki that she was seen as the same silly little girl with no agency in her own life," he writes.
Mr Joyce said when Ms Campion starting working for him, she was engaged and there was no chemistry, but by the time they shared their first kiss at Redhill Lookout "the wheels were spinning off' his life in Canberra.
Mr Joyce - who admits the tell-ale is "tawdry" - also claims he "suspected" Ms Campion was pregnant even before she told him over the phone: "I was very happy; nervous, but happy. I knew what was in front of me."
Despite refusing to admit he was involved in an affair when repeatedly pressed by The Daily Telegraph during the by-election, Mr Joyce now says he anticipated the news would erupt amid the campaign, which was sparked by revelations he was a dual-citizen.
"I was going to lose my job as Deputy Prime Minister. It was amazing that it had not come out prior to the election in a tabloid form, even more remarkable that it did not hit the fan during the election," he writes.
"In my wildest dreams I did not think that I would ever get to the two-year anniversary of being appointed Deputy Prime Minster; 18 February 2018."
The Daily Telegraph published news of Mr Joyce's love-child with Ms Campion on February 7, 2018 - 11 days before his two-year anniversary.
Speaking about the end of his marriage, Mr Joyce writes: "There is never an excuse, never a gold star, only major hurt to all involved in a marriage breakup. No one ever thinks their marriage will end when they start and no one wants to hear excuses as to why."
Now, Mr Joyce says he will try to be a better man and father for his son, Sebastian, who was born in April this year.
"Seb is going to know me in a different form to how my girls know me," he writes.
"If I do this right I will be a man for him; for Vikki, his mum; and for the girls and Nat. I spent too much time trying to be a man for everyone else."
In the book, Mr Joyce addresses his initially frosty relationship with former Prime Minister John Howard and speaks about how entering Parliament changes you.