Bindi Irwin announces she's 'taking a break' following bombshell 'abuse' allegations against grandfather

Bindi Irwin has announced she's "taking a break" from social media and her work in the public eye after grabbing headlines with a Facebook comment accusing her grandfather of "psychological abuse", among other things. 

The daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was questioned by a fan after she left her grandfather Bob Irwin out of a Father's Day tribute shared to her Facebook page. 

In response, Bindi said she had been a "victim" to Bob's "mental abuse," writing: "my entire life has been psychological abuse from him". She claimed he sent back gifts from her and refused to spend time with her when she was a little girl. 

In her latest social media post, the 22-year-old mother said she was taking time off to be with her new daughter, and thanked her fans for their support. 

"I feel tremendously grateful to share our life and conservation work with you but I need some time to focus on the happiness that is my family (both human and animal)," she wrote on Instagram. 

"Recently, I've had many people reaching out to share their own stories of working hard to protect their mental health. Thank you for sharing and speaking your truth," she continued. 

"To my friends who are dealing with depression, anxiety and other battles every day - I see you. These issues are very real and deserve to be discussed and addressed. Surround yourself with the light of people who genuinely care about you and will support you during the good times and the hard times." 

The wildlife conservationist reminded her fans there are helplines available for anyone struggling with their mental health. 

"Mental health deserves more understanding and support instead of being dismissed or patronised. You are absolutely worthy of love and kindness," she concluded. 

In 2019, Bob Irwin told the press he hadn't received an invite to his granddaughter's wedding to Chandell Powell, and "wouldn't expect to be invited". 

He said he wished Bindi and Chandler the best, insisting "a lot of untruths and rubbish and absolute garbage" had been written about him and his family in the past. 

At the time, he said he had sent a congratulatory letter to the couple, but hadn't heard back. 

Bob's estrangement from his son's family was highly-publicised following his resignation from Australia Zoo in 2008. His departure was caused by conflict with his daughter-in-law and Steve's close friend, Wes Carrion, over the operation of the Queensland attraction.

In a 2015 interview with New Idea, Bindi said Bob "chose to distance himself" from everything her dad Steve "loved the most" after the television host died in 2006. 

"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 at the time.