Matthew Newton, the troubled son of legendary Australian television personality Bert Newton, won't attend his father's funeral today in Melbourne.
Following a lengthy health battle, Bert passed away on October 30, four months after his health declined when having his leg amputated due to a toe infection.
He is survived by wife Patti Newton and their two children, Lauren and Matthew, but Patti has confirmed her and Bert's son won't be at his final farewell in Melbourne since he lives in New York City where the pandemic is still raging.
"There was no rift. He's had many long conversations with Bert in the hospital and that was all fine," Patti told Daily Mail Australia, shutting down rumours of a feud between the father and son before explaining why Matt "won't be coming" to the upcoming service.
"It's just the logistics of it all, and with Covid, and with everything else."
Entertainment reporter and Newton family friend Peter Ford said that while Matthew won't be at the service in person, a personal message written by the 44-year-old will be read out on his behalf.
"What I can tell you is that there will be a message that will be read, that he will compose himself, that will be read at the funeral as will other messages be read obviously but he will not be attending," Peter said on The Morning Show.
New Idea reported that the the once-estranged father and son "managed to bury the hatchet" in the lead up to his heartbreaking death.
"They became close again in Bert's final months, which was a source of huge comfort to him," an insider claimed.
The Looking for Alibrandi actor, who has lived in New York since 2012, has overcome addiction and mental health issues, and has been accused of domestic violence incidents involving ex-girlfriends Rachael Taylor and Brooke Satchwell.
Almost a decade ago, Bert spoke out about his son's public struggles.
"A lot of things that have unfolded in recent times, the great majority of those things we've learned about them through the media," Bert previously told A Current Affair.
"People might have had the impression that whatever happened, and whatever was done, we condoned it, and when a situation like this comes along, you don't.
"A lot of people don't have the experience, but when it concerns your child you say 'well, of course we love him and we support him'.
"I think I made an error in saying that because I do love him and I do support him, but I don't support or condone any of the things that have happened. We should have seen the signs, but we didn't."
The morning after Bert's death, his heartbroken widow, Patti stepped out of the family home in Hawthorn East to speak about her late husband's final moments and reveal she had missed his last breath.
"It's very, very devastating. All our hearts are breaking because he was just the most wonderful man," she told reporters. "I left at ten past seven, and I was just pulling around to come into my drive and I get the call to say he'd taken his last breath at 7.22pm.
"So I missed him, but maybe he didn't want me to be there for his last breath."
Bert boasted a lengthy broadcasting career and never formally retired, hosting the TV WEEK Logie Awards as recently as 2018.
He made his small-screen debut in 1957 working alongside Graham Kennedy on In Melbourne Tonight and went on to dominate just about every era of Australian television.
In 1989, Bert began hosting The Bert Newton Show, before going on to host Good Morning Australia.
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