Ever since the shocking news broke that former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was expecting a child with ex-staffer Vikki Campion, the Akubra-wearing minister has found himself at the centre of a media storm.
The 51-year-old Nationals pollie has repeatedly slammed the press for intruding on his private life in recent months and last week went as far as to call for a “tort of privacy” after a photographer papped him outside of church.
But it has now been revealed that Barnaby has penned his own tell-all book – titled Weatherboard and Iron: Politics, the bush and me – and publishers have confirmed the controversial politician will delve into the recent drama surrounding his love life.
A description posted on the website of New Holland Publishers says readers may “be surprised by what they learn” from the new book, which is being billed as “part memoir, part political insider”.
It reads: “Joyce’s world came crashing down around him in spectacular fashion when it was revealed that he was expecting a child with new partner, Vikki Campion, a former member of his political staff. In Weatherboard and Iron: Politics, the bush and me, Joyce not only provides a context to this calamitous series of events but also offers an insight into the inner workings of politics and the media in this country.
“Part memoir, part political insider and deeply personal, read the story from the man in the Akubra hat and then make your own mind up. You may be surprised by what you will learn.”
Also set to make an appearance in the book is Joyce’s spectacular clash with Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp in 2015, after the actor and then-wife Amber Heard brought their two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into the country while Depp filmed Pirates of the Caribbean on the Gold Coast.
It emerged the dogs did not have proper permits and had not passed quarantine, which led to Joyce, then the Minister for Agriculture, threatening to have the dogs killed unless they were immediately removed from Australia, saying: “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”
News of the book came to light after the New England backbencher, who is currently on personal leave, disclosed the publishing deal with New Holland Publishers on the register of interests.
Some people have been quick to brand Joyce a “hypocrite” after repeatedly asking for the media to respect his privacy, despite negotiating a large fee for their debut interview with Channel 7, and now releasing a book.
The couple, who share son Sebastian Curtis Scott, sat down with Sunday Night presenter Alex Cullen for their first joint interview earlier this month, which saw former Daily Telegraph journalist Vikki, 33, open up for the first time about the affair that rocked Canberra, saying she hoped the televised chat would “end the circus”.
She said: “I’m very nervous because we said we’d never talk about this and it got to the point where we had to end the circus. When you’re walking around with a three-week-old baby being papped, I’d do anything to protect him.”
TV star Lisa Wilkinson was one of those to criticise Joyce, writing in her column: “He can’t maintain that all he wants now is to focus on seeing the Government win the next election — and then re-open one of the most personally icky, politically and morally hypocritical, troublesome and damaging episodes in the life of the Turnbull era.”