Wed, 8 Aug, 2018Melody Teh

Barnaby Joyce: “I have to repair my relationship with my daughters”

Barnaby Joyce: “I have to repair my relationship with my daughters”

Barnaby Joyce admits it will take “a long period of time” to repair his relationship with his four daughters, following his affair with staff member Vikki Campion that saw lose his role as Deputy Prime Minister.

In February, it was revealed the then-National Party Leader was in a relationship with Campion, who has since given birth to their first child, son Sebastian.

Speaking on the Today show on Wednesday to promote his new autobiography, Weatherboard and Iron, Joyce acknowledged he had “made mistakes” when it came to his family. 

“With hindsight you can look back and see the mistakes you made and how you could’ve been a better person,” Joyce told host Georgie Gardner. 

“I actually note that in the [book] … how I could be a better man for Caroline, for Odette, for Bridgette, for Julia, for Nat, for Vikki and for Seb. 

“I know the mistakes I’ve made, but I don’t just want to dwell on that because I think that’s really limiting and egotistical.”

When Gardner asked why there were no photographs of his daughters in the book, Joyce said he wanted to shield his daughters from the public.

“They are the love of my life - I dedicated the book to them. I know, also, I’m kind of protective,” he explained.

“I know the public spotlight and, to be honest, the damage it created to me, and so I’m less inclined to throw other people out there. 

“In fact, one of the things I say [in the book] is, ‘I wished I had lived a different life that had kept you out of the glare of the public spotlight’. Maybe if I had my time again … I would have lived it entirely differently.”

However, his new book contains a photo of his baby son Sebastian, who has also appeared on television during Joyce and Campion’s much touted interview on Sunday Night.

“Obviously, people have been discussing Sebastian. He’s been on television,” the father of five tells Gardner. 

“Basically, a lot of young children look the same. Adults look different, they have their own personality, and I just know what it’s like to be in the public spotlight.

“I don’t particularly want my daughters to be any more in the public spotlight than what I’ve put them.”
Joyce revealed he has been in contact with his daughters, but knows that he still has to do more to reconnect with them.

“When you talk about repairing the relationship, that’s something I have to do, Georgie, and I have to do over a long period of time,” he told Gardner.

“The book neither assists nor detracts, I hope, from that.”

Joyce’s four daughters have not spoken publicly about their father, but his estranged wife Natalie took a swipe at her husband and Campion for accepting a large payment for a televised interview about their affair. 

Speaking to The Australian Women’s Weekly in July, the teacher said: “For the girls to see their dad for the first time with a child they have yet to meet ... it was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV.”

Natalie also stressed that her daughters were “the real victims” of Joyce’s actions, adding that her decision to speak publicly about the scandal was because of her daughters.

"I'm doing this so the girls will feel empowered and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name," the Tamworth-based mum said.

"I want to give them plenty of reasons to feel proud of at least one of their parents.”