In an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly – the first time Ms Joyce has spoken since it was revealed Barnaby Joyce had left her for his media adviser – the mother-of-four says her encounter with Vikki Campion wasn’t one of her “finer” moments, but that she was “proud” she stood up to her.
“I was very measured,” Natalie told the magazine of their confrontation in March last year. “I didn’t raise my voice. She and Barney were smoking outside. He bolted when he saw me. I turned to her and said, ‘My husband is out of bounds, off-limits, he’s a married man with four children,’ and then I called her a home-wrecking wh—. It was not one of my finer moments but, looking back, I’m proud I stood up to her.”
In her six-figure interview with Sunday Night earlier this month, Ms Campion acknowledged that a confrontation between her and Ms Joyce had occured in Tamworth, but refused to elaborate on the circumstances as she “can’t repeat the words on television”.
Ms Joyce said she met Ms Campion for the first time in 2016, when welcoming her into her home. She noted to the Women’s Weekly she found the media adviser “so cold” from the outset.
She went on to say she first had “a feeling” they were having an affair at the Nationals Christmas party that year.
“She wanted my life from the get-go,” she said. “This was a whole lot more than a fleeting office romance.”
In a final blow after her husband’s affair was made public, Ms Joyce said the couple’s choice of baby name – Sebastian – “felt like another malicious taunt in a very long line of appalling behaviour”. She said Sebastian was the name her and Mr Joyce had always had at the top of their list of names, had they had a son.
In their interview with Sunday Night, Ms Campion said she felt pressured to abort the pregnancy by “conservatives” within the National Party.
“They came to me and they said ‘You’re pregnant and you have to get an abortion’. And they said, ‘If you don’t, they’re gonna come after you’,” she said.
“And I said, ‘it’s too late, it has a heartbeat.’ And they said, ‘If you don’t, they’re gonna come after you.’’’
“And they did,” Mr Joyce said.
Ms Campion apologised, in the interview, to “every innocent party that was dragged through this”.
“I’m really sorry,” she said.
“But, you know, you can’t really… you can’t help who you fall in love with.”