Barnaby Joyce has blamed mixing prescription medication with alcohol after an embarrassing video showed him lying on his back near a gutter and mumbling profanities into his phone.
Daily Mail Australia revealed exclusive video of the former deputy prime minister, 56, sprawled on the footpath at Lonsdale Street, in the Canberra suburb of Braddon, close to midnight last Wednesday.
Sources said the Nationals’ frontbencher was sitting on a large pot plant while having an animated phone conversation with his wife, Vikki Campion, when he fell off, ‘rolled around’ on the ground, and continued with his call.
Mr Joyce was forced to address the night out during an appearance on Sunrise with Natalie Barr.
‘How are you,’ Barr awkwardly asked.
Mr Joyce responded: ‘Look, obviously, I made a big mistake. There’s no excuse for it.
‘There is a reason. And it was a very eventful walk home, wasn’t it?
‘I’m on a prescription drug, and they say certain things may happen to you if you drink [on it], and they were absolutely 100 per cent right. They did.’
Sunrise host Natalie Barr has confronted Barnaby Joyce after embarrassing footage emerged
Barr continued to probe Mr Joyce: ‘So you mixed alcohol with prescription medication, did you, and this is what happened?’
Joyce responded: ‘That’s exactly what I said, yep.’
Barr then asked: ‘Are you kinda angry that you were lying on the ground and someone filmed you and no-one helped you?’
Joyce said: ‘Well, that’s a question for them, you know. For me, the good Samaritan was the… was the Indian taxi driver who pulled over as I was walking home and said, ‘Do you need a lift, mate?’, which I obviously did.’
‘Do you need support over this?’ Barr asked Mr Joyce.
‘Well, look… I’m not looking for sympathy and I’m not looking for an excuse,’ he said.
‘I will just stand by that. What I said is what I said. I came back, I sat on a planter box, I fell off and I was videotaped. There you go. What else can you say?’
Barr suggested if something similar happened to a company executive ‘and they were on the ground like that, and they were affected by alcohol, they may be reprimanded’.
‘Do you think you should be? There’s talk about that this morning,’ she asked.
Mr Joyce said it was ‘not really my decision’.
‘I’m not going to enter into a long dialogue about what other people may want to do,’ he said.
Nationals Leader David Littleproud said Mr Joyce would ‘get the support’ he needed while Labor’s environment minister Tanya Plibersek refused to comment.
‘I won’t add to it,’ she told reporters.
‘It’s a matter for Barnaby and his family and his party to sort through.’
Mr Joyce’s prescription drug confession comes after his father-in-law revealed he had received a devastating message shortly before the incident.
Vikki Campion’s father, Peter, said Mr Joyce had received some ‘bad family news’ that day
Mr Joyce is pictured with his wife Vikki and sons Sebastian and Thomas in June 2021
A fake plaque has appeared at the spot where Mr Joyce fell over the weekend (pictured)
‘He had some very bad family news on that day,’ Peter Campion told Daily Mail Australia on Saturday.
‘He’s already lost a brother to cancer. That’s what you’ve got to begin with. He had some very bad similar news, which is not up to me divulge but of the same scale and it affected him deeply.
‘As my daughter said, he was in a very, very bad place and was deeply depressed.
‘Any decent person coming across someone in that position, so sad that they have let themselves collapse on the footpath, would stop and help, not just take a video clip and sell it to the media.
‘The biggest part of this story was not that Barnaby was an emotional wreck on the footpath. It is the lack of caring nature of his countrymen, his fellow Australians.
‘What have we devolved to that people will do that? Walk past a man who is clearly needing help.’
Meanwhile, a fake plaque has appeared at the spot where Mr Joyce fell last Wednesday night.
The artist was in such a hurry that they got the date wrong, saying it happened in January, rather than February.
One local who saw it told Daily Mail Australia that ‘It’s pretty hilarious. Everyone’s stopping and having a laugh’.
‘It’s glued down, so it’ll be there for a while,’ they said.
Sophie Anderson, a UK-based writer, is your guide to the latest trends, viral sensations, and internet phenomena. With a finger on the pulse of digital culture, she explores what’s trending across social media and pop culture, keeping readers in the know about the latest online sensations.