Barnaby Joyce and his ex-staffer-turned-partner, Vikki Campion, have made extraordinary claims about being pressured from within the government to abort her pregnancy.
Speaking in an honest and, at times, emotional interview with Seven’s Sunday Night program, Ms Campion told reporter Alex Cullen that, in the early stages of the pregnancy, “conservatives” warned her of severe consequences if she didn’t terminate.
“They came to me and said, ‘You’re pregnant and you have to get an abortion’,” she said.
“I said: ‘It’s too late. It has a heartbeat’. And they said: ‘If you don’t, they’re going to come after you’.”
“And they did,” Mr Joyce added.
Referring to the threat, Mr Joyce unloaded on the culture of the Australian parliament.
“You know there is something insidious and dark and horrible that happens inside that mad boarding school,” he said.
“A woman is pregnant and their contribution to it is they’re going to try and make an incredibly difficult situation almost unbearable by saying to that woman you will do this if you want a career in this place.
“And that’s your Australian parliament.”
Ms Campion delved into her own personal story revealing she had been told by doctors prior to falling pregnant that she would most likely never be able to have children because of medical problems.
“It was a miracle that I was pregnant in the first place.” she said
The story featured their newborn son, Sebastian Joyce, who was born seven weeks ago on April 16.
“As soon as I saw him and held him everything was worth it,” an emotional Ms Campion said.
The impending birth of Sebastian caused a national media storm back in February, which resulted in Mr Joyce resigning as deputy prime minister.
“As soon as I knew Vikki was pregnant, and as soon as I knew that Vikki was going through with the pregnancy, I knew at that point that I’d also be resigning from the deputy prime ministership,” Mr Joyce said.
Ms Campion also confirmed a confrontation did take place between her and Mr Joyce’s wife, Natalie, in Tamworth last year, saying: “I can’t repeat the words on television.”
Both Vikki Campion and Barnaby Joyce then used the highly-publicised interview to apologise for the hurt caused to their families.
“I apologise to every innocent party that was dragged through this, including Sebastian,” Ms Campion said.
“But I couldn’t help it. You can’t help who you fall in love with.”
The couple said a payment for the interview would go directly towards Sebastian’s education.
It would be administered by an independent trust fund and cannot be accessed by them.