A fortnight after their relationship was sensationally exposed in media reports, Barnaby Joyce and his pregnant partner Vikki Campion have urged the public to "move on" in a revealing new interview.
Speaking with Fairfax Media at their townhouse in Armidale on Wednesday, the couple said they fear their baby son will be viewed as "somehow less worthy than other children."
Mr Joyce already shares four daughters with his estranged wife, Natalie -- Bridgette, 20, Julia, 19, Caroline, 17, and Odette, 15.
"The one thing that has deeply annoyed me is that there is somehow an inference that this child is somehow less worthy than other children, and it's almost spoken about in the third person," Mr Joyce told the publication when asked what it meant to become a father again.
"I love my daughters. I have four beautiful daughters and I love them to death. And now I will have a son. I don't pick winners, I'm not gonna love one more than another, but I'm not going to love one less than another either."
Speaking about the media attention that their affair has brought about, he continued: "I don't want our child to grow up as some sort of public display. I have to stop it from the start. It's a fact we are having a child, it's a fact it's a boy, it's not more or less loved than any of my other children."
Mr Joyce, 50, conceded that his personal life mightn't be worthy of a "gold star" but suggested that he should be praised for making a commitment to his pregnant partner.
"I don't want to say have sympathy for me. I just want people to look clinically at the facts and basically come to the conclusion he is not getting a gold star for his personal life, but he has made a commitment, he is with her, they're having a child, and in a 2018 world there is nothing terribly much to see there."
The Nationals Leader also used the interview to debunk a perception they were living for free in a "palace" provided by friend and businessman Greg Maguire.
He claimed they had been all but "forced out" of the apartment due to media intrusion, and will soon relocate somewhere more private.
WATCH: The Deputy PM has publicly apologised to his wife, his daughters and his pregnant partner. Post continues...
Ms Campion, 33, who is reportedly uncomfortable with the public scrutiny placed on her and the couple's respective families, refused to be photographed during the interview and made only one on-the-record comment -- noting that her son's middle names would honour her two brothers.
"Their support has meant so much. They are the only people who knew," she said.
The couple are set to welcome their first child together in April.