Bob Irwin is 'confused' by granddaughter Bindi's claims he 'ignored' since ...

Bob Irwin is 'confused' by granddaughter Bindi's claims he 'ignored' since ...
Bob Irwin is 'confused' by granddaughter Bindi's claims he 'ignored' since ...

An Irwin family friend has said Bob Snr is 'deeply upset' by his granddaughter Bindi's claims he's 'ignored' her since she was a child - leading those close to him to fear the rift may have tragic consequences.

Amanda French, who co-authored Bob's 2016 autobiography The Last Crocodile Hunter, said on Monday that family members have tried to shield Bob, 82, from 'the full extent' of what Bindi, 22, has said about him.

But he's nonetheless devastated and feels confused as to 'where this all came from'.

Ms French told Seven's The Latest on Monday: 'Naturally Bob's quite upset about it, and to be perfectly honest we haven't told him the full extent of the comments because we're quite concerned about how he might take that.'

'We're quite concerned about how he might take that': An Irwin family friend has said Bob Snr (pictured) is 'deeply upset' by his granddaughter Bindi's claims he's 'ignored' her since she was a child - leading those close to him to fear the rift may have tragic consequences

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'We're quite concerned about how he might take that': An Irwin family friend has said Bob Snr (pictured) is 'deeply upset' by his granddaughter Bindi's claims he's 'ignored' her since she was a child - leading those close to him to fear the rift may have tragic consequences

She also claimed Bindi's scathing Facebook comment about her grandfather on Sunday was particularly unfair given how Bob has always maintained a dignified silence on the circumstances of his exit from Australia Zoo in 2008.

'Bob's always been quite neutral about the reason why he left the zoo and that's something he'll probably take to his grave,' Ms French said. 

'He has his own reasons between himself and Terri, but he's always had the greatest respect for the kids; he's got photos in his hallway of the kids.'

'I guess he's scratching his head today, wondering where this all came from.' 

Inner circle: Amanda French (right), who co-authored Bob's 2016 autobiography The Last Crocodile Hunter, said on Monday that family members have tried to shield Bob, 82, from 'the full extent' of what Bindi, 22, has said about him, but he's nonetheless devastated and feels confused as to 'where this all came from'

Inner circle: Amanda French (right), who co-authored Bob's 2016 autobiography The Last Crocodile Hunter, said on Monday that family members have tried to shield Bob, 82, from 'the full extent' of what Bindi, 22, has said about him, but he's nonetheless devastated and feels confused as to 'where this all came from'

It comes as Bindi face backlash from her own family for accusing her estranged grandfather of 'ignoring' her since her childhood. 

The wildlife warrior made headlines on Sunday after she posted a scathing Facebook comment about her strained relationship with Bob, claiming the ageing conservationist - who founded the family business Australia Zoo in 1970 - had 'never said a single kind word' to her and even 'returned gifts' she'd sent him.

While Bob has yet to publicly respond to the accusations, members of his inner circle fired back at Bindi on Monday. 

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Bethany Wheeler, another granddaughter of Bob's by marriage, declared on Facebook: '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,' she wrote.

Ms Wheeler, whose stepmother Mandy is Bob's daughter, defended her grandfather's character, calling him 'one of the most genuinely beautiful humans on this planet' who has 'never spoken out or put down anybody'.

Feud: Bindi made headlines on Sunday after she posted a scathing Facebook comment about her strained relationship with Bob (pictured in October 2016), claiming the ageing conservationist - who founded the family business Australia Zoo in 1970 - had 'never said a single kind word' to her and even 'returned gifts' she'd sent him

Feud: Bindi made headlines on Sunday after she posted a scathing Facebook comment about her strained relationship with Bob (pictured in October 2016), claiming the ageing conservationist - who founded the family business Australia Zoo in 1970 - had 'never said a single kind word' to her and even 'returned gifts' she'd sent him

'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,' she continued.

Ms Wheeler went on to thank Bob for showing 'absolute love, respect, support and encouragement' throughout her life.

'My sisters and brothers will happily back me up when I say that Bob Irwin is a passive and beautiful human,' she added.

Breaking her silence: Bethany Wheeler (second from left), another granddaughter of Bob's (left) by marriage, declared on Facebook: 'The time has come to speak up... We have all felt sick reading [this] for too long.' Pictured: Ms Wheeler at her wedding to husband Wayne

Breaking her silence: Bethany Wheeler (second from left), another granddaughter of Bob's (left) by marriage, declared on Facebook: 'The time has come to speak up... We have all felt sick reading [this] for too long.' Pictured: Ms Wheeler at her wedding to husband Wayne

Meanwhile, Ms French accused Bindi of assassinating her grandfather's character.

'To read the sad comments online today has sickened me, and people who are closest to him,' Ms French wrote on Facebook.

She described Bob as 'kind, gentle, generous and extremely f**king introverted'. 

'It is disappointing [for Bindi] to have written what was written. To call a man [what Bindi called him] who has not once retaliated, simply buried his head in the sand and got on with his life in a meaningful way is [unfair],' she wrote.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph on Monday, Ms French called Bindi's attack 'heartbreaking', and insisted Bob still loves his family, including his granddaughter.

'He hasn't seen you since you were 10. He's done all he knows how to do and that is bury his head in the sand because that's how he copes,' she said, referring to how Bob withdrew

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