Steve Irwin’s sister on family’s ‘very sad’ falling out


Steve Irwin's sister has broken her silence on the "very sad" family feud allegedly afflicting her famous clan.

This month, hints of trouble were revealed when Steve's father Bob Irwin said he didn't expect to be invited to his granddaughter Bindi's wedding to fiance Chandler Powell.

Just a few weeks later, the late Australia Zoo founder's older sister, Joy Muscillo, has also weighed in.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, she said she had lost contact with her brother's widow and children.

Steve, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin pictured with Steve’s sisters Joy and Mandy and dad Bob. Picture: Supplied
Steve, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin pictured with Steve’s sisters Joy and Mandy and dad Bob. Picture: Supplied

The publication claimed Mrs Muscillo and her husband Frank used to work at Australia Zoo, before Mr Muscillo was allegedly "walked out" of the zoo by Terri Irwin in 2016.

Mrs Muscillo and her adult children left soon after, the Daily Mail claimed.

The alleged incident took place in 2008, around eight years after Steve's father Bob Snr quit the family business he founded.

Mrs Muscillo told Daily Mail reporters the situation was "very sad".

"I keep away from all that," she said.

"It's just very sad … family stuff."

She also told reporters she had been prevented from speaking publicly about what had actually happened due to a confidentiality agreement.

Although it has now lapsed, she said she made a "personal decision" to remain tight-lipped about it.

Bob Snr and his wife Lyn founded the Beerwah Reptile Park - which would become Australia Zoo - in the 1970s.

Steve and Terri Irwin took over after they tied the knot, although Bob was still involved in the business.

However, several years after Steve's death in 2006, Bob Snr allegedly argued with Terri about the running of the zoo, and since then he has not spoken with the family.

Earlier this month, he told the Courier Mail he didn't expect an invite to Bindi Irwin's wedding, but that he would attend if he was welcome.

"I want (Bindi and Robert, 15) to be able to do what they want from day to day, enjoy life, enjoy the animals, achieve things, without worrying about things that should never be presented to them (like that article),'' he told the publication.

"Much the same as any other parent or grandparent, I would wish (Bindi and Chandler) all the best - which I do - and hope things go really, really well.'

"No, I haven't had an invite to the wedding and, to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't expect to be invited to the wedding.''

In 2015, Bindi also commented on the family feud when she walked the red carpet at the AACTA Awards in Sydney.

"Everyone deals with grief differently," she said to the Daily Mail.

"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."

The wildlife warrior added that her grandfather even rejected birthday presents from the family on one occasion.

"There was one year where we sent birthday presents to him and he opened them up and he sent them back." contacted Australia Zoo for comment.