Embattled former Labor senator Sam Dastyari has claimed Barnaby Joyce had a ‘psychotic break’ after publicly casting doubt on the paternity of his unborn child.
Mr Dastyari said he’s concerned for Mr Joyce’s wellbeing after suffering more than a month of intense media scrutiny over his affair with his former media advisor Vikki Campion, 33.
The former politician – who quit parliament in December – said the former deputy prime minister did the ‘weirdest thing imaginable’ by conceding the identity of the biological father was ‘a grey area’.
Former Labor senator Sam Dastyari claimed on Wednesday that Barnaby Joyce (pictured) had a ‘psychotic break’ earlier this month after publicly casting doubt on the paternity of his unborn child
Mr Dastyari said he’s concerned for Mr Joyce’s wellbeing after suffering more than a month of intense media scrutiny over his affair with his former media advisor Vikki Campion, 33 (left)
Mr Dastyari (pictured) said the former deputy prime minister did the ‘weirdest thing imaginable’ by conceding the identity of the biological father was ‘a grey area’
‘At the moment, let’s face it, he’s having a bit of a Charlie Sheen minute without the coke,’ Mr Dastyari told Kyle and Jackie O.
‘Quite a few people are actually really worried about Barnaby, and really worried about Vikki (Campion). Everyone who knows Vikki really likes her… everyone says she’s lovely, sweet, vivacious and fun. It’s a bit sad at the moment.’
‘Barnaby last week did the weirdest thing imaginable.
‘After having stepped down and having the media off him – it was almost like this kind of psychotic break when he turned around and started questioning the paternity of the kid.’
Mr Dastyari said Mr Joyce shamed his partner earlier this month by saying he was on a trip to Europe around the time she conceived.
He added that the former Nationals leader’s actions suggest he is experiencing a breakdown in the public eye.
‘This is what everybody in Canberra is talking about – is Barnaby actually okay? Because that’s weird behaviour,’ he told the show’s hosts.
‘At the moment, let’s face it, he’s having a bit of a Charlie Sheen minute without the coke,’ Mr Dastyari told Kyle and Jackie O on Wednesday
Mr Dastyari said Mr Joyce shamed his partner (pictured) earlier this month by saying he was on a trip to Europe around the time she conceived
‘I think you have a bloke here who is just breaking down like Charlie Sheen did in front of the cameras and the public spotlight.’
He then encouraged Mr Joyce to follow his example by quitting politics altogether.
Mr Joyce continues to sit on the Coalition backbench, insisting he’s ‘really happy’ and ‘fired up’ to represent his New England constituents.
Earlier this month, he claimed he was never asked by the media if Ms Campion’s baby was his when news of the scandal broke.
Mr Joyce said he couldn’t be sure he is the father, but he plans to raise the child as his own.
Mr Dastyari added that the former Nationals leader’s actions suggest he is experiencing a breakdown in the public eye
Earlier this month, Mr Joyce claimed he was never asked by the media if Ms Campion’s baby was his when news of the scandal broke (pictured are Mr Joyce and Ms Campion at a bar in Sydney)
‘It’s mine, on the record, there it is. And can I say, even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t care, I’d still go through this, I’d still love him,’ Mr Joyce said.
The backbencher said he was in Europe on an official visit with his wife Natalie for the ten days after June 23, 2017, while Ms Campion was in North Queensland.
He later stormed out of a media conference after being asked why he suggested he may not be the father of his pregnant former adviser’s unborn child.
‘One thing I’m going to say is anything that’s personal in nature is nobody else’s business but mine and Vikki’s. Nobody else’s business,’ he said.
The Barnaby Joyce affair – Timeline
May – Vikki Campion assists Barnaby Joyce’s election campaign as media adviser, having previously worked with NSW government ministers and News Corp
August – Campion joins Joyce’s staff. She splits with fiance John Bergin, three months before they were due to wed. Friendship develops between Joyce and Campion
December – Chief of staff Di Hallam reportedly seeks Joyce’s approval to have Campion transferred out of office. Hallam later quits to take up departmental role
February – Campion is photographed in a Sydney bar with Joyce, as revealed by Daily Mail Australia
April – Barnaby’s wife Natalie reportedly confronts Campion in Tamworth. Campion goes to minister Matt Canavan office as adviser. Natalie and Barnaby seek to make marriage work
May – At New South Wales Nationals conference in Broken Hill colleagues describe Joyce as ‘a mess’
June – Natalie and Barnaby show up together at Canberra press gallery midwinter ball
July – Campion leaves her $191,000 job in Mr Canavan’s office after he quits frontbench over citizenship. She temporarily goes back to Joyce’s office
August – Campion moves to Damian Drum’s office in a social media adviser position specially created for her. He already has a media adviser. In this time she oversees just 50 posts to Facebook
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly reassured by Joyce the relationship with Campion is over. Drum says he was told the same thing. Former Joyce chief of staff Di Hallam takes up a senior position with the Inland Rail project
September – Natalie reportedly asks family friend, Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan, to counsel Joyce. Campion is seen managing Joyce media events at federal Nationals conference in Canberra
October – Campion reportedly takes stress leave. Writ issued for New England by-election after Joyce quits over dual citizenship
November – Natalie holidays in Bali with a daughter. Man in a pub in Inverell angers Joyce during election campaign by reportedly saying: ‘Say hello to your mistress’
December – Joyce wins by-election. Joyce tells parliament during same-sex marriage debate he is separated. Campion’s redundancy package is approved. They move into an Armidale property provided rent-free by businessman Greg Maguire
January – Joyce and Campion holiday in north Queensland and NSW north coast
February – Joyce tells reporters Campion is now his partner. But denies she was his partner when she worked in Canavan’s office
Mid-April – Joyce-Campion baby is due
Source: AAP from media reports and official statements