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What happened to Bert Newton’s son Matthew? Inside his quiet life in the US

Bert's only son hadn't attended his father's funeral in Melbourne this morning.
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The death of TV royalty Bert Newton sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry and led to an extraordinary outpour of tributes and recognition.

Bert died on October 30 aged 83 following a lengthy health battle. In May, the beloved star had his leg amputated following complications from an infected toe.

But among the hordes of condolences and heartfelt praise, the TV legend’s death has dredged up old wounds for the Newton family, specifically regarding Bert and wife Patti’s 44-year-old son Matthew.

The Underbelly actor has lived in the US since 2012.

(Image: Getty)

Matthew wasn’t at his father’s final farewell in Melbourne this morning since he lives in the US 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.

Despite not being there in person, Matthew’s heartfelt eulogy for his father was read out on his behalf.

“I am very sorry that due to the pandemic, I can’t be with you all there to celebrate dad,” the eulogy started.

“A lot has been said about my dad’s sharp wit but my two personal favourite off-the-cuff lines of his were not set on television or even in front of proper audience.

” In fact, there was only one single person present. One was a doctor, the other was an 11-year-old me. These lines don’t have a place in today’s seedings as both edge toward being a little risque.

“Dad purely wanted to pop the tension of an awkward situation and see another human being light up and laugh. I honestly believe that that was the thing, apart from his family, that made dad the happiest. It was a superpower and he always tried to use it for good.”

Bert and Patti share children Lauren and Matthew.

(Image: Instagram)

Radio announcer Pete Smith previously also spoke of Bert and Matt’s frequent final conversations to Channel Nine.

“Matt’s in New York but I had the most lovely phone call. It went for 45 minutes and he brought back memories that I’d forgotten of him when he was a kid coming up to my office at home, to my setup, and seeing – I had a lot of horror masks and stuff. It made the impression on him and he said I told him his first joke, not his father,” Bert’s friend recalled ahead of the funeral service.

“That’s probably why the phone call went 45 minutes. He probably relayed the joke. You can tell a story. It wasn’t just that. The 45-minute phone calls were much longer with his father and were Facetime.

“In the later days and in the months he was hospitalised. Month after month after month. Matt was in touch almost on a daily basis.”

The Underbelly actor, who has lived in the US 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.

Despite Patti putting to bed rumours there was a rift between herself, Bert and their son, there has long been speculation that the couple had a “strained” relationship with Matthew following his legal woes.

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“I’ve had so many conversations with (Matthew). We had a conversation last night and all the family were here,” she said on Monday, adding that “there was never a rift with Bert.”

“All that baloney about Matthew’s devastating childhood — I mean, I have two children, Lauren and Matthew both had the same childhood. They both had a wonderful childhood.”

Patti also said Bert and Matthew spoke on the phone regularly in the lead up to the 83-year-old’s heartbreaking death, but the father and son haven’t always been on such great terms.

Almost a decade ago, Bert spoke out about an alleged domestic violence incident involving Matthew’s then-fiancée Rachael Taylor at a hotel in Italy.

“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.

Patti said Bert and Matthew spoke on the phone regularly in the lead up to the 83-year-old’s death.

(Image: Getty)

“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 alleged incident with Rachael wasn’t Matthew’s first run-in with the law. Four years earlier, he faced court after being accused of assaulting his previous girlfriend, Brooke Satchwell.

He pleaded guilty and was given a good behaviour bond, but the conviction was overturned on mental health grounds.

Patti has spoken publicly about her son’s battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

(Image: Getty)

Patti then spoke out publicly about her son’s battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

“His biggest problem is the fact that it’s not a drug, it’s not an alcohol problem as much as it’s a mental health issue,” Patti said.

“He’s always had a bit of a problem with his temper, even as a kid, but I do think it’s accelerated. We don’t know how to handle it. There was a bomb about to go off somewhere, sometime.”

A young Matthew with his proud dad.

(Image: Instagram)

But it seems the 44-year-old has put his checkered past behind him and now lives a much quieter life in New York where he can enjoy anonymity away from his fame in Australia.

It was there that he met Catherine Schneiderman, whose father was the former New York Attorney-General, Eric Schneiderman.

Matthew and Catherine, 28, tied the knot in a secret ceremony three years ago, but none of his family reportedly attended the service.

That same year, Matthew was set to direct Jessica Chastain’s movie Ava. But after Jessica copped backlash over Matthew’s history of domestic violence incidents, he stepped down.

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