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EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Joyce breaks her silence on the worst two years of her life after Barnaby

In an exclusive interview for The Australian’s Women’s Weekly, the former Second Lady, Natalie Joyce, breaks her silence on the worst two years of her life, the moment she confronted her husband Barnaby Joyce's mistress and how the love and support of the greater rural community saved her.

By Lizzie Wilson
Natalie Joyce

Much has been written, discussed and debated on the Barnaby Joyce affair. The extramarital relationship with his press secretary, Vikki Campion, culminated in his resignation as Deputy Prime Minister and resulted in the birth of their baby boy, Sebastian.

The couple's much-maligned interview with Seven's Sunday Night program earlier this month brought media attention surrounding the story to fever pitch. However, despite intense interest from many quarters, Natalie has remained silent - until now.

Although by no means taken lightly, Natalie Joyce's decision to finally speak up came easily. Along with a strong desire to set the record straight, she had four compelling reasons - her daughters Bridgette, 21, Julia, 20, Caroline, 18, and Odette, 15.

Natalie, Barnaby and their daughters Bridgette, Odette, Caroline and Julia in 2015.
Natalie, Barnaby and their daughters Bridgette, Odette, Caroline and Julia in 2015.

In an unpaid and candid interview, Natalie opens up about happier times with one of the country's most polarising characters - a man she now believes is on the brink of an inevitable breakdown. She shares memories of growing up in the bush she still calls home, of teaching the importance of being kind, and with grace and conviction shares her feelings on Vikki Campion, a woman she says destroyed her family and stole her life.

Much has been made of the $150,000 price tag on Barnaby and Vikki's Channel Seven exclusive, and Vikki's role in negotiating the deal. Describing the TV interview as "an absolute disgrace" Natalie says it didn't come as a great shock to her that Vikki was the driving force behind it.

"I wasn't surprised she sold their 'exclusive' story, and certainly not surprised the $150,000 went to her child, but it begs the question, if Barney agreed to be a part of it, how could he allow his four girls to be overlooked? In saying that, I wouldn't want a cent of that money. It was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV!"

For Natalie, however, this was never about money; it was simply about being heard. "I'm normally a very private person but I knew I had to find my voice. They thought I would lie down, but this time I couldn't," she says.

Natalie breaks her silence in *The Australian Women's Weekly* this month.
Natalie breaks her silence in The Australian Women's Weekly this month.

"I'm doing this so the girls feel empowered, and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name."

As for those who may suggest her motivation was fuelled by revenge, Natalie says that couldn't be further from the truth.

In reality it was her desire to be part of The Weekly's special rural issue that cemented proud country girl Natalie's decision to share her very personal story with friend and journalist Lizzie Wilson.

Natalie with *The Weekly's* crew. From left to right: Bianca Lane, Natalie Joyce, Lizzie Wilson, Yolanda Lukowski and Paul Suesse.
Natalie with The Weekly's crew. From left to right: Bianca Lane, Natalie Joyce, Lizzie Wilson, Yolanda Lukowski and Paul Suesse.

It was a decision made well before word of Barnaby and Vikki's television tell-all had surfaced.

"I'm very proud to be honoured in this issue of The Weekly - a tribute to rural women across our land," tells Natalie. "I'm humbled to be amongst such an extraordinary group of inspiring women."

And in so bravely and eloquently finding her voice, it's now Natalie's turn to inspire women across Australia.

Read the full exclusive interview and photos, only in this month's Australian Women's Weekly.

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