Celebrity News

Shocking claims Bindi Irwin never wanted to continue her father Steve’s wildlife legacy

Bindi is caught between two worlds.
Loading the player...

Bindi Irwin is the young face and assumed heiress apparent of Australia Zoo but in a bombshell new allegation, her late dad’s friend alleges she never initially wanted to inherit Steve Irwin’s legacy and empire.

In a recent interview, cameraman Justin Lyons, who worked with Steve for a decade until his death, described Australia Zoo as being “cult-like”, with Steve’s imagery looming everywhere, reminding him of the day in 2006 when he filmed the famous conservationist dying from a stingray attack.

Among his stunning revelations, he claims the now 24-year-old Bindi initially “didn’t really want” to follow in her famous dad’s footsteps.

Bindi did want to follow in her father’s footsteps.

(Image: Getty)

“Bindi and I spent a lot of time together,” Justin insists. “We’d go up to Far North Queensland and while they were doing whatever, Bindi and I would go off. She’d say to me, ‘I don’t really like bugs’, but she was expected to do all this crazy stuff.”

It’s a far cry from Bindi’s own words, given that in 2018 she told Insider, “Ever since I can remember, I’ve always said, ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like Dad.'” However, some sources close to the Irwin family say there “may be a layer of truth” to Justin’s allegations.

“She couldn’t have predicted it back when she was a little kid wandering around the bush with Justin, but the reality is Bindi is in a tough position,” says an insider.

“She was a big star for a time in America and for a while it looked like she was set to break the big time in Hollywood, but now she’s back at the zoo learning the ropes to take over when her mother retires, and as it is currently, its glory days are long over.”

The claims contradict what Bindi has said in the past.

(Image: Instagram)

There’s no denying that Bindi is caught between two worlds – her desire to make her parents proud and fulfil her dad’s wishes, but also the pull back to the US, where she has the potential to make a name for herself in her husband Chandler Powell’s home country.

In the US, she won Dancing With The Stars in 2015 and fronts Discovery Channel’s Crikey! It’s The Irwins TV show.

“Bindi and Chandler have often toyed with the idea of moving to the States, especially now they have baby Grace, and they’ve barely seen Chandler’s parents in recent years,” says a source. “But Bindi feels tied to the zoo, whether she wants to be or not.”

Recently, Bindi saw the downside of being a celebrity zookeeper when a US hobby farmer whose birds had been struck by deadly avian flu pleaded with her via Twitter to help her ailing emu Emmanuel.

Loading the player...

Her public request went viral, prompting Bindi to issue a response saying that while she was not experienced in dealing with avian flu, she sent Emmanuel “love and light”.

Bindi’s comment was met with a wave of backlash on social media.

“You’re supposedly in a unique position to use your influence and contacts to actually help her,” wrote one person. “Thoughts and prayers are cheap.”

So cute!

(Image: Getty)

It comes as Bindi and Chandler, 25, have faced increasing criticism for selling merchandise and promoting products through Australia Zoo.

Sadly, insiders reveal the reaction rocked Bindi and there was a “cold realisation” that incidents like this will keep happening if she helms the zoo and maintains her online presence, which she relies on for sponsorship income.

“It’s a brutal world her dad never lived to see, but he wouldn’t want to see his daughter go through that,” says a source.

Bindi’s justifiably not happy with Justin’s comments but some of them do hit home.”

Related stories