Bindi Irwin has announced she will be taking a break from social media following backlash after she publically bashed her estranged grandfather Bob Irwin.
The daughter of Australian sweetheart and Crocodile enthusiast Steve Irwin, will be taking the social media break to focus on her “human and animal” families.
The wildlife conservationist and new mom announced that she’s taking a month-long social media hiatus to focus on raising her 3-month-old Grace and protect her own mental well-being.
“I’m taking a break from social media and most of my work in the public eye for a month to be with my beautiful daughter and my wonderful family,” she wrote on Instagram alongside a precious black-and-white snap with baby Grace, “I feel tremendously grateful to share our life and conservation work with you but I need some time to focus on the happiness that is my family (both human and animal).”
She reminded her followers about the importance of protecting your mental health.
“To my friends who are dealing with depression, anxiety, and other battles every day – I see you,” she wrote, “These issues are very real and deserve to be discussed and addressed. Surround yourself with the light of people who genuinely care about you and will support you during the good times and the hard times… Mental health deserves more understanding and support instead of being dismissed or patronized. You are absolutely worthy of love and kindness.”
On Sunday, Bindi faced backlash from her extended family when she publicly acknowledged the estrangement between her and her grandfather, Bob Irwin.
Steve’s father founded what is now known as Australia Zoo back in 1970 with his wife Lyn. He handed ownership of the park to Steve and Terri in 1992 but remained involved in the upkeep of the zoo. However, after Steve’s death, Bob left the park after falling out with Terri about how things should be run.
Bob spoke out in 2015, telling The Herald Sun they no longer had contact with Bindi.
“I don’t like to talk about family matters but no we are not in contact,” he said, “It’s sad but it’s just the way things are.”
To celebrate father’s day, Bindi posted an appreciation post celebrating the men in her life.
When fans noticed the apparent lack of acknowledgment of grandfather Bob, she wrote that he hadn’t been involved with her since she was little. “I really wish that my entire family could spend time with [her newborn daughter] Grace. Unfortunately, my grandfather Bob has shown no interest in spending time with me or my family.”
She even said Bob had “returned gifts I’ve sent after he opened them,” and ignored letters she had sent.
“From the time I was a little girl he has ignored me, preferring to spend time doing anything else rather than being with me. He has never said a single kind word to me personally. It breaks my heart.”
However, one of Bindi’s cousins decided to speak up surrounding the apparent feud.
Bethany Wheeler, another granddaughter of Bob’s wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday: “The time has come to speak up.”
“I read some absolutely appalling comments by Bindi today! Feel free to share this post (I will make it public) as we have all been silent… for too long. He is a man who sits silently and battles his demons alone, in what is great sadness. He doesn’t retaliate, only prays for his grandchildren’s safety and good lives.”
Another granddaughter, Toni Johnstone, also claimed that Bindi’s comments were “so far from the truth it’s not funny.”
Commenting on Facebook, Johnstone wrote, “I honestly cannot believe how [Bindi] can [accuse Bob of these things] and then preach ‘let’s be kind to one another’ in the same post.”
“Let’s hope [Bindi and Terri] remember who built the zoo that made them who they are today.”