Bob Hawke’s birthday overshadowed by bitter feud

To mark what would have been the late prime minister’s 90th birthday, the special limited release Hawke’s Legend IPA was released, but all anyone wanted to ask his family about was the stoush tearing them apart.

Over the weekend, an explosive The New Daily report revealed Mr Hawke’s daughter, Rosslyn Dillon, claimed she was raped in the 1980s by a Labor MP and was asked by her father not to report it to police.

A feud between Mr Hawke’s daughter Roslyn Dillon, her son Paul Dillon and Mr Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget also surfaced, with legal documents showing a raft of discontent after Ms d’Alpuget offered family items at a public auction after his death.

The New Daily published a report claiming Ms Dillon had filed a $4 million claim against her father’s estate.

Ms Dillon made shocking claims in her affidavit saying she was assaulted three times by a Labor MP, and told her father she wanted to report the crimes to police.

The 59-year-old claims her father urged her to keep quiet to protect his prime ministerial ambitions.

In the 25-page affidavit, Ms Dillon alleges she told her father what happened and was “shocked and hurt” by his response.

Sophie Taylor-Price, the granddaughter of the late Bob Hawke, and Louis Pratt, the son of Blanche d’Alpuget at the launch. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAPSource:AAP

Ms Dillon’s sister Sue Pieters-Hawke weighed in on the controversy at the launch of the new beer at a pub in Sydney’s Surry Hills this afternoon, saying she did not support her sister.

“I made it very clear I love and respect my sister but I disagree with her in this,” she said.

“I disagree on the process of challenging the will.”

Ms Pieters-Hawke said discussing a family estate was their private business.

“I think that’s the subject of an affidavit that may or may not be tested in court,” she said.

“I don’t discuss private family matters with the press.”

Asked whether the controversy would change Australians’ perception of Mr Hawke, Ms Pieters-Hawke said she hoped not.

“I think it would be foolish to do that,” she said.

While Ms Pieters-Hawke said she was aware of the allegation at the time, Mr Hawke’s stepson Louis Pratt, Blache d’Alpuget’s son, said he wasn’t.

He said he didn’t know what to think.

“I think it’s out of his (Hawke’s) character so it’s surprising,” Mr Pratt said.

“He fought fiercely for everyone in his family and I know he loved Roslyn dearly. She was the favourite. I know he loved her very much.”

The former prime minister was honoured in a special celebration on what would have been his milestone 90th birthday. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

The former prime minister was honoured in a special celebration on what would have been his milestone 90th birthday. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAPSource:AAP

Ms Dillon currently has net assets of $20,000, and receives welfare payments of under $500 a week. Among her requests to Ms d’Alpuget are a $2.5 million house in Sydney’s eastern suburbs and money for dental work.

It’s just the latest in a series of ongoing dramas that have plagued the Hawke family since his death in May this year — and both during and after his political career.

A legal battle was launched just a couple of months after the former prime minister’s death.

In July this year, two months after Mr Hawke died, tensions broke out between Ms Dillon and Ms d’Alpuget over the division of his multimillion-dollar will.

Mr Hawke left each of his three children a payment of $750,000, and gave the entirety of his remaining $18 million estate to his second wife.

Ms Dillon engaged the family law firm Tiyce & Lawyers with the intention of contesting the will, on the grounds that it provided inadequate family provisions.

Mr Pratt also received a payment.

Mr Hawke’s memorial service in July also made headlines after Ms d’Alpuget appeared to snub his children during her speech.

The latest drama surrounding the Hawke family goes back many years.

When Mr Hawke left his first wife Hazel for Ms d’Alpuget in 1994, it caused a bitter rift with his children, although they eventually reconciled.

In 2011, Ms Pieters-Hawke and her stepmother allegedly clashed at an airport.

Hawke’s Brewing Co. was launched by Mr Hawke at The Clock Hotel in Sydney in April 2017.

All proceeds from the celebratory keg will be donated to Landcare Australia.


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