Steve Irwin's father Bob hasn't seen grandchildren Bindi and Robert in over 10 years, says he hasn't been invited for Bindi's upcoming wedding
Irwin has not talked to his granddaughter since she announced her engagement in July and has not been invited to her wedding.
Bob Irwin, the father of the late and legendary Australian conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin, has come out to clear the air concerning the ongoing feud that's left him estranged from his granddaughter Bindi. Irwin has reportedly not been in touch with Bindi since she announced her engagement to her boyfriend Chandler Powell on her 21st birthday on July 24.
At the time, a reporter had walked into his property at Camp Chilli to get his comments on the engagement but was turned away by Irwin, who refused to comment. His silence was misconstrued by the media as being disapproval of the couple, and he has not talked to his granddaughter since. Irwin had moved quickly to dispell such notions at the time, filing a trespassing complaint against the reporter and writing a letter to Bindi where he wished her and Chandler the best, but the damage had seemingly been done.
The 80-year-old has not been invited to the wedding, which is set to take place in 2020 at Australia Zoo, which he had founded as Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park with his late wife Lyn in 1973. But despite the snub, Irwin says he wishes nothing but the best for his granddaughter and her fiancé, as well as his grandson Robert.
"I want (Bindi and Robert) to be able to do what they want from day to day, enjoy life, enjoy the animals, achieve things, without worrying about things that should never be presented to them (like that article)," he said. "Much the same as any other parent or grandparent, I would wish (Bindi and Chandler) all the best - which I do - and hope things go really, really well," he added.
His complicated relationship with his grandchildren, as well as his daughter-in-law Terri, dates much farther back than this current misunderstanding, however. Irwin had resigned from Australia Zoo in 2008, two years after his son's death, after he was accused of having a "disruptive influence" because of his difference of opinion on how to run the sanctuary. Full legal ownership of the facility had previously been transferred to his son and Terri in 2004, and the resulting legal battle saw Irwin agree to a financial settlement which allowed him to buy a property and set up Camp Chilli near Kingaroy.
Rumors suggested that the feud and the eventual split originated from Irwin's disapproval of how Terri was running the zoo after Steve's death, but he rubbished those insinuations and insisted there was no feud in his autobiography. "I put my heart and soul into that place, and I think a part of me will never leave, will always be there alongside Steve," he wrote. "Australia Zoo will always be successful. I don’t know much about it now, because life’s different and you get out of touch, but from what I can gather, from what people who have been there have told me, it’s still really, really good and well worth the visit."