Bindi Irwin says grief caused a rift with grandfather Bob
BINDI Irwin believes the frosty relationship between her and grandfather Bob is a result of his grief, which forced him to "distance himself from everything that Dad loved most".
The teen star, fresh from her win on the US Dancing with the Stars, spoke to reports in front of the AACTA Awards in Sydney on Wednesday.
"Everyone deals with grief differently," she told Daily Mail Australia.
"When my dad passed away, (Bob) chose to distance himself from everything that Dad loved most."
She added that her grandfather "hasn't had anything to do with us for a long time".
Bindi said her family were respecting his wishes.
While visiting Central Queensland two weeks ago as part of his conservation work, Bob told the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin he was proud of his granddaughter, and of her success on DWTS.
"I was very proud of her, she was very good," he said.
"I just hope that as time goes by, Bindi continues with her conservation message because she's got a good platform now to work from and it would be nice to think she could continue it for many, many years to come.
"However, that's in the lap of the gods.
"We just have to wait and see."
He also told the Herald-Sun in Melbourne earlier this year that he wasn't on speaking terms with Bindi or his namesake Robert Irwin.
"It's sad but it's just the way things are," he said.
In May, he told Australian Story that he attempted to face the grief of losing his son by focusing on work.
"Once we lost Steve those were difficult times and a lot of it all I wanted to forget, I suppose," Bob 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.
"I didn't want to be like a hermit because that wasn't doing me any good."