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Bindi Irwin 'heartbroken' over family rift with uncle who quit Australia Zoo

9The FIX logo 9The FIX 9/05/2016

It's no secret that Terri Irwin doesn't get along with her late husband Steve's side of the family, but now things have gotten even uglier – with daughter Bindi caught in the middle.

According to reports by in and magazines, Bindi's Uncle Frank Muscillo, Aunty Joy, and cousins James and Rebecca are the most recent members of the family to turn their backs on Terri and her beloved Australia Zoo.

Why the rift? Brother-in-law Frank was the zoo's general manager, and after 30 years on the job, abruptly walked out last month – apparently at the orders of Terri. A News Ltd report claimed that Frank was "marched off" the property by Terri, 51.

A source has now told that 17-year-old Bindi is not coping with the crumbling of her extended family.

"That little girl is heartbroken and doesn't know what to do," the friend said.

"Frank and Joy have been at the zoo since before Bindi and Robert were born…Steve was very close to them and they adored watching his kids grow up, but they see their niece and nephew less and less due to mounting career commitments in the US. Over the years, they have become almost strangers." 

Steve, who was a devoted family man, "would be turning in his grave" if he knew his kids were growing up without their support.

"There is no way this would be happening if Steve was still alive, because family meant everything to him," said the source.

Bindi sparked concerns of family dramas with an Instagram post last week:

#ThoughtToday✨

A photo posted by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

The latest reports come after The Crocodile Hunter's dad Bob Irwin notoriously distanced himself from Terri and the kids after Steve's shock death in 2006.

Bindi has previously been diplomatic when speaking about her estranged grandfather, who 12-year-old brother Bob was named after.

"Everyone deals with grief differently," the  winner said in December.

"When my dad passed away he [Bob] chose to distance himself from everything that Dad loved the most…At the moment we're really just respecting his wishes because he hasn’t had anything to do with us for a long time and he decided his own path. That's important so good for him," she said.

In a surprising move, Bindi recently took to Instagram to throw some not-so-subtle shade at her relatives. "Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family", she posted last week.

Since retiring from Australia Zoo in 1992, Bob has reportedly been ­financially supported by Terri and the family.

While he's not on speaking terms with his grandchildren, the 76-year-old says that he was proud of Bindi's success.

"I'm so proud of her and what she's achieved," he told the last year. "It's very exciting."

But when asked if he had called to congratulate his granddaughter on her win, he gave this sad response: "I don't like to talk about family matters but no we are not in contact. It's sad but it's just the way things are."


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