Bindi Irwin has opened up about her estranged relationship with her grandfather Bob Irwin.
The Dancing With the Stars champion was on the red carpet at the AACTA Awards last night when she revealed details about her family’s complicated relationship with Steve Irwin’s father.
Bindi told the Daily Mail, Bob became reclusive after his Steve’s tragic death in 2006.
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“When my dad passed away he chose to distance himself from everything that dad loved the most,” she told the publication. “At the moment we’re really just respecting his wishes because he hasn’t had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path.”
The 17-year-old also admitted just how serious the rift is, saying: “There was one year where we sent birthday presents to him and he opened them up and he sent them back.”
Bob, who runs the Bob Irwin Wildlife & Conservation Foundation previously told the Herald Sun that he is not on speaking terms with his grandchildren.
“It’s sad but it’s just the way things are,” he said at the time.
It’s believed Bob became distance from Steve’s wife Terri and his grandchildren after he left Australia Zoo in 2008. There are reports he wasn’t happy with the commercial direction Terri was taking the zoo.