Barnaby Joyce has welcomed a baby boy with his new partner Vikki Campion.
The former deputy prime minister stepped down from his position after it was revealed he was expecting a baby with his former staffer, following a secret and long-running affair.
According to News Corp, his partner has now given birth, but he is yet to publicly confirm the news on his social media channels. More reports claim the couple have named their newborn Sebastian, and he was born on Monday weighing eight pounds, seven ounces.
Speaking to Fairfax Media on Friday, Joyce said: “We are very happy and just taking it quietly.”
While this is Campion’s first child, Joyce already has four daughters with his wife Natalie – Julia, Caroline, Odette and Bridgette. He and Natalie are yet to finalise their divorce.
Joyce’s official declaration of his relationship with Campion came after he told Fairfax Media that the paternity of his partner’s baby was unclear, adding that he and his lover had been apart for most of the critical conceiving period. According to Fairfax reports, Joyce was in Europe on a 10-day business trip with his wife Natalie in June 2017, while Campion was located in north Queensland.
However, News Corp reports that Joyce told close allies he regretted making the comment and that he is indeed the father of the baby.
Joyce, 51, resigned from his role as the leader of the National Party and as the country’s deputy prime minister in February after a West Australian woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Barnaby quickly called the accusations – printed in an ABC report – “spurious and defamatory”, vehemently denying that such events took place.
The politician revealed in December that he and Natalie had separated. His relationship with his former adviser hit the headlines just a few months later, when the Daily Telegraph published a picture of a pregnant Campion and reported that Joyce was the father of her baby.
He issued a grovelling apology to both his wife and four daughters, and Campion herself, after days of stalling following the news.
“I’d like to say to [wife] Natalie how deeply sorry I am for all the hurt this has caused, to my girls how deeply sorry I am for all the hurt that it has caused them … [and] to Vikki Campion how deeply sorry I am that she has been dragged in to this,” he said, according to the Daily Telegraph‘s report.
Mrs Joyce herself released a statement shortly before, saying that she understood the pair had been a couple for “many months”, including while Campion was the Nationals leader’s employee.