Little Bindi Irwin is now firmly back in Australia’s bosom. She’s our golden girl. Australia’s sweetheart. Especially after she made such a good showing over in the US.
Her stint on Dancing with the Stars was one long tribute to her dad, the inimitable Steve Irwin, who died when she was eight.
Bindi may have grown up and blossomed in the wake of her father’s death, but she says that Irwin’s own father, Bob Irwin, has been unable to deal with the loss.
Now she’s 17, and Bindi Irwin has nothing to do with Steve Irwin’s beloved dad.
“Everyone deals with grief differently,” she told Mail Online at the AACTAs last night.
“When my dad passed away he chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most.”
It sounds as though it’s more of a serious rift than a grief-induced distancing, though.
“There was one year where we sent birthday presents to him and he opened them up and he sent them back,” she said.
Bob Irwin, 76, runs the Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation.
He spoke about his grief over his son’s loss on an episode of Australian Story earlier this year.
“Once we lost Steve those were difficult times and a lot of it all I wanted to forget, I suppose,” Irwin said.
“I basically buried myself in physical work, I didn’t want anything to do with people. I had things to get sorted out in my own head and that took a long time to get those sorted out.”
On the same show, former Australia Zoo staffer Amanda French described Irwin’s withdrawal from the family business.