Bindi Irwin is facing legal problems related to her contract with the Dancing with the Stars series. According to showbiz website TMZ, her contract with the program was reportedly rejected by a judge because the teenager needs to present proof that her father, Steve Irwin, really passed away.
The 17-year-old Australian teen apparently needs her parents to sign a form stating that they are giving up all rights to her earnings from the ABC dance contest. Her mother, Terry Irwin, has already signed the necessary papers, but the court said they wanted proof that Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin is also relinquishing his rights to her earnings. It is still unknown if the Irwins will submit Steve’s death certificate.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) November 6, 2015
According to the judge, without physical proof that Steve is giving up his rights to Bindi’s DWTS income, “the court is unable to find that it is in the best interest of the minor to be bound by the terms of the contract.” TMZ learned that the lawyers of Dancing with the Stars are doing everything to resolve the legal problems. Bindi has already earned $230,000 by making it through Week 8 of the contest. If she makes it through Weeks 10 and 11, she will bring home $50,000 for each of the season’s final two weeks.
However, the teenager has not yet commented on the issue. She and her professional dance partner, Derek Hough, have won the hearts of viewers and remain a strong contender for the finals. Bindi scored the first perfect score of Season 21 after she dedicated a dance number to her father that featured the song “Every Breath You Take” late last month. Bindi has also wowed the show’s judges with her “Crocodile Rock” and “Dirty Dancing” dance routines in her previous performances.
Before she hit the Dancing with the Stars stage, Bindi did a wildlife documentary series for Discovery Kids called Bindi, the Jungle Girl, for which she became the youngest recipient of a Daytime Emmy Award. She starred in the movie Return to Nim’s Island as well as an online show with her brother, Robert, called Growing Up Wild.
“We never want Dad’s message to die,” she told People about using the show to keep on her father’s efforts.
“It’s wonderful that we’re able to carry on in his footsteps and keep his message alive,” she said in her previous interview.
Bindi hopes to use the attention she is getting from the media to set a good example to other girls and to continue the legacy Steve has left behind.
“I have the best Daddy in the whole world, and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him, and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help Daddy,” she said in a eulogy for her father.
At the time, Bindi was just 8.
Steve was an Australian TV personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist who was popularly known as “The Crocodile Hunter.” He was active in promoting environmentalism through his programs. His TV show The Crocodile Hunter, a wildlife documentary, earned him international fame and made environmental awareness more accessible to mainstream audiences.
Steve died on September 4, 2006, after being stabbed by a stingray in the chest during the filming of his underwater documentary Ocean’s Deadliest. Steve also starred on several Animal Planet documentaries such as The Crocodile Hunter Diaries and the Croc Files.
[Photos by YouTube and Tibrina Hobson, Getty Images]