Bert Newton’s son is reportedly “unlikely” to return to Australia from the US to attend his father’s funeral.
Bert, a four-time gold Logie award-winning entertainer, who had a leg amputated in May due to a life-threatening infection, died at a private clinic in Melbourne on Saturday night.
On Sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the entertainment legend would be sent off with a state funeral, with details to be shared in the coming days.
“Above all his achievements, he was a family man and his greatest partnership with with his wife of almost 50 years, Patti. Our thoughts and prayers are with her, their children and their grandchildren,” Andrews said in a statement.
But Newton’s actor-filmmaker son Matthew is “unlikely” to be at the state funeral, NewsCorp reported.
Matthew lives in New York and has been in the US for almost 10 years.
According to the publication, Matthew’s relationship with his parents has been “strained” since before he moved in 2012.
Matthew has allegedly been involved in various domestic violence incidents against ex-girlfriends Brooke Satchwell and Rachael Taylor. He has also battled mental health issues.
Bert’s incredible gift
Earlier on Monday, the gift Bert Newton gave to a dying man during a hospital visit was revealed after the secret was kept for 31 years.
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford finally revealed a touching story about Newton he had waited three decades to tell.
Ford was told by his friend never to report the story until Newton had “carked it”.
“I thought, that is a rotten deal, you are never going to die!” Ford told The Morning Show on Monday.
Ford said in 1990 he had a friend who had AIDS and was dying in the Fairfield Infectious Disease hospital, with just weeks to live.
As his friend was a fan of showbusiness, Ford sent off cards to various celebrities asking if they would sign them and post them back.
All of the celebrities did so, except Newton.
“I thought, that’s a shame,” Ford said.
“Then five or six days later, I went to the hospital and there was a different buzz in the air.
“I asked what was going on and he said: ‘You won’t believe it, but Bert Newton has just left and has been here for hours’.”
Newton visited every single patient in the ward and sat with them to tell stories and make them laugh.
“I went into my friend who was suddenly energised and I looked across at the bedside table and, Bert had actually left one of his Gold Logies,” Ford said.
“I rang Bert and said: ‘I can’t believe you did that.’
“He said it’s OK, but he thinks he has broken some kind of Logie law by doing it, so you can never report it until the day I have gone.”