Bindi Irwin has amassed a huge following on this season of Dancing with the Stars, but it looks like the 17-year-old has hit a snag.
Bindi's late father is Steve Irwin, animal activist and the "Crocodile Hunter" who passed while snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in 2006, struck through the heart by a stingray.
Steve's death made international news, animal lovers and fans alike distraught by the sudden passing of someone who provided so much education and entertainment to the world. At the time of his death, Bindi was only eight.
But now, TMZ reports that the judge handling her payment for participating in the celebrity dance show says Bindi (a minor) will not receive the roughly $230,000 she is currently entitled to — because Steve has not signed away his rights to that money.
Without this form, the judge claims, "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."
This is an unprecedented issue for Dancing with the Stars, the show's legal team likely expecting the case to be handled like any other minor's. However, as Steve is very clearly unable to sign the same documents that Bindi's mom, Terri, has, the issue has been raised.
Ostensibly, the Irwin family will need to provide a simple legal death certificate to get over this hump. But that doesn't change the fact that, given the sensationalized and very public death Steve had, the ruling is less than tasteful.
All our support goes out to Bindi, who stopped by at Children's Hospital Los Angeles over the weekend to meet a fan.