Bob Hawke’s eldest daughter has weighed in on her sister’s bitter dispute over her late father’s will, admitting that despite the controversy surrounding the family, for her the money received is more than enough.
Sue Pieters-Hawke was left $750,000 by her father, the same amount given to her siblings Stephen Hawke and Rosslyn Dillon, and her step-brother Louis Pratt. Meanwhile, the former prime minister’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget inherited the couple’s $15 million mansion in Sydney.
While Bob’s other children seemed to have no disagreements over how the estate was divided, Rosslyn threatened to challenge the will earlier this year – unhappy with the fortune Blanche was allocated.
At Bob Hawke's memorial service and wake earlier this year, Sue Pieters-Hawke heard a range of colourful tales about her father – many she'd never heard before. She has now collated them in a book called Remembering Bob. #abc730 @TABowden #BobHawke #auspol pic.twitter.com/l5p8JyhhHw
— abc730 (@abc730) November 18, 2019
Speaking out about the controversy for the first time this week, Sue said she doesn’t hold the same views as her sister and is grateful for the money received.
“I don’t relate to it mostly,” Sue told ABC’s 7.30. “I don’t share that dispute. I love and respect my sister [but] I don’t share her view on this one. And beyond that I honestly regard it as a private family matter.”
The 62-year-old, who recently published a book on her father’s life, said the funds will go a long way and will help to alleviate any financial worries in the future.
“It’s made a difference to me and my life,” she explained on the program. “It’s mostly locked away, but it means I don’t have to have financial anxiety. I can supplement the pension, no longer work and my kids don’t have to worry about me.
“I’m really happy about that. And I can respect that other people have different views, that’s fine.”
Sue’s appearance on 7.30 came just one day after Blanche opened up about the affair that brought her and Bob together and why she has no feelings of regret over the relationship.
Blanche met Bob, who was married to first wife Hazel Hawke at the time, at a party in Jakarta in the 1970s. While it would be another 20 years before they tied the knot, speaking to Lisa Wilkinson, the 75-year-old author admitted there was an “instantaneous attraction” between her and Hawke.
“I had no idea who he was, I thought his name was Robin. He just sat down and we talked a lot,” she said during an interview aired on Sunday night’s episode of The Project.
Wilkinson then asked if Bob ever “felt guilty” about their extra-marital relationship, to which Blanche replied: “Are you kidding? He was perpetually unfaithful. He loved Hazel and he was perpetually unfaithful.”
She added: “Bob was not a faithful husband, I didn’t feel I was doing anything bad.”
Blanche also revealed that she is starting to come to terms with her husband’s death, telling Wilkinson: “In the last week I’ve come good, up until then I was pretty much a wreck. People coming up in supermarkets … I’d be trying to buy cauliflower and somebody would come up and say ‘Just wanted to say’ and I’d cry on the cauliflower.”