Bindi Irwin Opens Up About Anxiety After Dad's Death, Raves Over 'Old-Fashioned' Boyfriend: 'He Gets My World'

by Raphael Chestang 6:10 PM PST, December 21, 2015
Playing Bindi Irwin Opens Up About Anxiety After Dad's Death, Raves Over 'Old-Fashioned' Boyfriend: 'He Gets My World'

Bindi Irwin is opening up about her personal life.

The Dancing With the Stars winner chatted with The Australian Women's Weekly for its January issue about her "old-fashioned gentleman" boyfriend Chandler Powell and how she adjusted to losing her dad, Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, in the years immediately after.

The 17-year-old animal lover explained that no one has ever "got" her like Powell, the 19-year-old professional wakeboarder she's been dating, and that "he's always there to keep [her] going."

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"He's the first person I've met who understands my life -- the travel and the work and that real dedication and determination," Bindi said. "I think that's why I love him so much, because he gets my world."

Photo: Australian Women's Weekly

In the new cover shoot, Bindi also models a range of age-appropriate outfits in her native landscape. Irwin gets her love of the outdoors from her mom, Terri, and late father.

Bindi was just 8 when her dad died, and she revealed that she developed anxiety soon after his death, fearing that she could lose her mom or younger brother too.

"It was really bad when I was younger, now I just have this sense that I want to protect them, so it's always 'be safe' and 'I love you,'" Bindi recalled.

"When your superhero dies, that's really scary," she admitted. "The strongest person has been taken away, so what about everyone else?"

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The teenage wildlife preservationist credits DWTS with helping her heal.

"It changed my life, because I was able to close those chapters that I'd never really been able to close before," she said. "It really gave me an opportunity to say, 'Okay, I can be at peace with it, and I'm okay.'"