On Wednesday February 22, Barnaby Joyce announced in his first media interview with his pregnant partner Vikki Campion, despite intense scrutiny of the couple's affair, he wasn't going to step down from his top position.
By Friday of that same week, fresh sexual harassment allegations surfaced against the Deputy Prime Minister, who announced his resignation that same day, referring the claims to the police.
"I have asked for the right of that person who's made the allegation, and I've asked for my right to defence, that that be referred to police," Mr Joyce said during his resignation press conference.
It has been revealed by the Weekend Australian that former West Australian Rural Woman of the Year Catherine Marriott is the woman who made the allegations against Mr Joyce.
Ms Marriott's lawyer, Emma Salerno, this week gave more information about the complaint from her client, confirming it refers to "sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct".
Catherine Marriott is a well-respected leader in the Australian agricultural sector. She's an elected councilor at the Shire of Broome in Western Australia, a former chief executive of the Kimberley/Pilbara Cattleman's Association and project manager of the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia. Among many of her passions, Ms Marriott champions the role of women in rural communities.
When the news broke that Ms Marriott, known as "Maz" to her peers, was the woman at the centre of the sexual harassment claims against the former Deputy Prime Minister her supporters gathered in droves. Influential figures in the agricultural industry developed the hashtag #standwithMaz to voice their support and defend her character.
National Farmers' Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson said Ms Marriott was "undeniably one of the most fair dinkum people I know".
"She is generous, passionate and honest. Whatever she says goes. Hugely courageous. She wanted to give the Nats a chance to sort it out and they leaked instead. I #StandwithMaz," Ms Simson tweeted.
NFF CEO Tony Mahar tweeted his support saying, "Whatever has occurred here needs sorting immediately by those in control. This can't be tolerated. We stand together behind an inspirational and courageous leader in #AusAg. I #StandwithMaz @afsnsw @NationalFarmers @danicaleys @Oscarthefarmer @ColinJBettles"
Ms Marriott grew up on a farm near Benalla in Victoria and attended boarding school at Scots School Albury in New South Wales. The well-respected agriculture figure has a list of impressive achievements including a Rural Science Degree, she's a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, plus in 2012 she was the RIRDC Rural Women's Award Recipient.
In 2014, Mr Joyce and Ms Marriot were both keynote speakers at a Federal Government function in Canberra, titled Outlook 2014 reports Perth Now. Mr Joyce, the then Agriculture Minister, gave the opening address, while Ms Marriott was billed as a director of Influential Women.
Catherine Marriott's allegations were driven by the want for Joyce to be held accountable for his actions, though she never intended the "formal and confidential" investigation into the incident to become public. She'd flagged the complaint directly with the National Party and had every intention of keeping things private and professional, reported ABC News.
"On February 20, 2018, I wrote a formal letter of complaint to the Federal Executive of the National party outlining an allegation of sexual harassment against Barnaby Joyce," Ms Marriott said in a statement.
"I want to stress that I never intended for this issue to become public."
"I requested that a formal and confidential investigation into this incident be undertaken by the National Party to ensure there is accountability in relation to the incident I raise, and to prevent this type of inappropriate behaviour towards women in the future."
"This complaint was not made solely to address the incident against me."
"It is about speaking up against inappropriate behaviour by people in powerful positions."
For more on the scandalous past fortnight in politics: