Bindi Irwin has described the “psychological abuse” she’s endured at the hands of her grandfather, Bob Irwin, admitting that their relationship has had a negative impact on her mental health.
While celebrating Father’s Day in the United States, in support of her American husband Chandler, the 22-year-old shared a sweet tribute to her partner, her own father Steve and her father-in-law Chris.
“Appreciation post for the three most incredible fathers in my life,” the post reads.
But naturally, one commenter noticed that her paternal grandfather, Bob Irwin, wasn’t included in the post, making the assumption that she excluded the “good man” on purpose.
“What about your grandfather you know your fathers, father!!! He too was a good man, who I assume got the shaft,” they wrote.
However, Bindi explained that her grandfather isn’t in her life as a result of the “mental abuse” that he forced upon her for years, adding that it brought her “enormous pain.”
“I really wish that my entire family could spend time with Grace. Unfortunately, my grandfather Bob has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family,” she explained.
“Publicly he continues to claim that he wants to spend time with us while privately my entire life has been psychological abuse from him.”
“He has returned gifts I’ve sent him after he opened them, he has ignored my correspondence and from the time I was a little girl he has ignored me, preferring to spend time doing anything else rather than being with me,” Bindi added.
“He has never said a single kind word to me personally.”
While the news of their broken relationship is saddening, Bindi went on to add that they aren’t completely cut off from Bob, admitting that they still send him financial help every week after he retired from Australia Zoo in 1992, and after he distanced himself from the Zoo entirely in 2008.
“I just felt that it was better for everybody concerned if I left Australia Zoo and Judy and I and all our friends were able to continue Steve’s work the way I believe it should be done,” Bob explained to ABC’s Australian Story in 2008.
When speaking to the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in 2015, Bindi confirmed that Bob grew distant from the rest of the family, claiming that it could be down to how he dealt with grief following Steve’s death in 2006.
“Everyone deals with grief differently. When my dad passed away, he [Bob] chose to distance himself from everything that Dad loved the most.”
In the end, the truth will only ever be known within the Irwin family, but here’s hoping that Bindi and her new family continue to find happiness in the future.