Natalie Joyce says she felt like throwing a brick through the TV while watching her estranged husband Barnaby Joyce give an interview alongside his former staffer-turned-partner Vikki Campion.
Ms Joyce gave an unpaid interview to the Australian Women’s Weekly, which was set up before news broke about Mr Joyce and Ms Campion’s $150,000 TV deal.
Ms Joyce said the TV interview, which Ms Campion set up to provide a fund for her new son Sebastian, was “an absolute disgrace”.
“I wasn’t surprised she sold their ‘exclusive’ story, and certainly not surprised the $150,000 went to her child,” Ms Joyce told the magazine.
“But it begs the question, if Barney agreed to be a part of it, how could he allow his four girls to be overlooked?
“In saying that, I wouldn’t want a cent of that money. It was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV.”
Mr Joyce said he clung on to his job as deputy prime minister for two weeks out of “spite”, rather than quit and end the political headache for the government.
He pleaded for privacy, but gave the TV interview, campaigned against laws protecting women from harassment outside abortion clinics, and has a book coming out in August.
Ms Joyce said she had decided to speak up for her four daughters.
“I’m normally a very private person but I knew I had to find my voice. They thought I would lie down, but this time I couldn’t,” she said.
“I’m doing this so the girls feel empowered, and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name.
“I want to give them plenty of reasons to feel proud of at least one of their parents.
“I can wear the constant king hits, but it’s not fair that our four daughters suffer at the hands of their father’s betrayal. Our girls are the real victims here.”
Ms Joyce said she confronted the pair about the affair in March 2017, when she heard they were at Mr Joyce’s electorate office in Tamworth.
“The fact she went on national TV to talk about the stoush means it’s best I set the record straight,” she said.
“I was very measured and made sure 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 finest moments but, looking back, I’m proud I stood up to her.”
She went in to detail about efforts to save their marriage, before the affair became public knowledge, going on an official overseas trip with her husband to the UK, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.
“I gave it one last shot,” she said.
“Apparently [Vikki] had ‘given permission’ for me to go. I thought that he needed me by his side. At one time, we’d been a good team.
“So I agreed on one condition – no contact with her for two weeks- but she was relentless and called sometimes 20 times a day.”
Ms Joyce, who has returned to full-time teaching, said her close-knit group of friends and the wider local community who rallied around her helped her through the most difficult period of her life.
“What I’ve been through is nothing compared with the real stuff our rural folk face every day,” she said.
“Crippling drought is just one of our challenges. Look around, it’s so dry. We need rain. It keeps us honest and keeps everything in perspective. It reminds us of what really counts.”
With Australian Associated Press