As Vikki Campion gazes at her newborn baby boy, it’s clear to see she’s smitten.
‘It’s beautiful... He is an absolutely gorgeous baby and I love him – so much,’ the proud mum says.
But little Sebastian Curtis Scott Joyce is also the baby at the centre of a national scandal.
He is the result of an illicit love affair between Vikki and former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce – a liaison that ultimately cost Barnaby his job.
‘You just look at these two blue eyes staring up at the blue sky and... you think, “Boy, you caused some problems!” ’
Barnaby, 51, told Channel 7’s Sunday Night in an exclusive interview with his new partner.
But in the couple’s tell-all with reporter Alex Cullen, Vikki admitted the adorable tot – conceived while Barnaby was still married to his wife of 23 years Natalie – almost wasn’t born at all.
Opening up about the moment she discovered she was pregnant, Vikki – who at 32 is almost two decades younger than Barnaby, – candidly told the program that excitement wasn’t the first thing she felt.
‘I felt... overwhelmed by the complexity of the situation which we had caused ourselves,’ she said.
‘Barnaby is strongly pro-life... I believe that a woman has a right over her own body up to a point, certainly up until the baby has a heartbeat.
‘I thought, well, maybe I should just take matters into my own hands and basically save everything from happening... by considering an abortion.
‘I tried and I couldn’t go through with that,’ she added.
‘I bought the medicine online – you can’t do it in the ACT. I drove interstate... I walked in and I walked out again.’
Later in the interview, she said she came under pressure from ‘conservatives’ in parliament to terminate the pregnancy.
‘I felt like I had two options...I thought I could have an abortion and then move overseas and forget everything had ever happened. Then when I couldn’t do it I... wrote to my two closest girlfriends from high school and said to them, “I’m pregnant and I think I’m going to be doing this by myself.” ’
Vikki and Barnaby’s relationship has been the subject of a public furore.
Vikki had left a career in journalism to work on Barnaby’s re-election campaign in 2016.
‘Barnaby... has a such a commanding presence and people either love him or they loathe him,’ Vikki told the program, adding that the couple were ‘close for a long time’ before anything romantic happened between them.
‘You can’t help who you fall in love with,’ she added.
The former Deputy PM said he felt he was ‘living a lie’ as he kept up the appearance of being in a happy marriage with his wife – something he is ‘not proud of ’.
‘I have failed, I failed, I failed, I failed, I failed... and I am sorry,’ the now-father-of-five said.
‘The biggest failure of my life was the failure of my marriage... but you just can’t live your life beating yourself up.’
And so, what does the future hold for the innocent baby at the centre of it all? The couple say the payment for their Sunday Night tell-all will be put in a trust for Sebastian – a fund that neither of them can access.
And while Vikki said her pregnancy and labour wasn’t easy, it’s clear her young son is the light of her life.
Tears filled her eyes as she said: ‘As soon as I saw him and held him...everything was worth it for this.’
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