Vikki Campion was two months pregnant with Barnaby Joyce’s fifth child while his wife sought counselling for their failing marriage.
Natalie Joyce tried to save her marriage by enlisting high-profile Catholic priest Father Frank Brennan in September – several months into her husband’s affair with his 33-year-old former media advisor.
Mrs Joyce begged Father Brennan – who is a family friend – to counsel the deputy prime minister to end the relationship, The Courier Mail reported.
She learned soon after that Ms Campion was two months pregnant with a child belonging to her husband of 24 years.
Father Brennan is believed to have then counselled the couple as their marriage broke down in the following months.
The publication reported Mrs Joyce was aware of the affair when she arrived as Mr Joyce’s date to the Midwinter Ball in June.
The pair share four daughters aged between 15 and 21, one of which sat her final exams during her parents’ fallout.
In a statement issued last week, Mrs Joyce said she felt ‘deceived’ by the news her husband is having another child.
She claimed her husband’s affair went on for months, while she was sacrificing her own career to support him, The Australian reported.
‘The situation is devastating, for my girls who are affected by the family breakdown and for me as a wife of 24 years who placed my own career on hold to support Barnaby through his political life,’ her statement read.
‘Our family has had to be shared during Barnaby’s political career and it was with trust that we let campaign and office staff into our home and into our lives.
‘Naturally we feel deceived and hurt by the actions of Barnaby and the staff member involved.’
The news of the baby came just two months after Joyce, 50, formally announced he was separated from his wife.