Bert Newton’s son Matthew will play key role at his late father’s funeral in Melbourne despite not attending the service
Bert Newton’s troubled son Matthew will play an important role in his late father’s funeral on Friday despite not being able to attend the service in Melbourne.
Matthew, who is now a director and writer residing in New York, and his sister Lauren have written letters which will be read at the service.
The showbiz legend will be laid to rest at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral at 10am on Friday.
Tribute: Bert Newton’s son Matthew (pictured) will play key role at his late father’s funeral in Melbourne despite not attending the service
The attendance list will be capped at 500 fully vaccinated guests, consisting of family, friends and colleagues.
Patti is understood to have chosen the hymns and prayers for the service.
Musical theatre star Rhonda Burchmore will reportedly read a passage from the Bible as part of the proceedings.
Earlier this month, Patti confirmed her son would not return to Melbourne from his home in New York to attend the star’s funeral.
She also slammed recent media reports that her TV legend husband was estranged from their son.
‘The press are just desperate to find a little glitch into (their relationship),’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
According to the Herald Sun, Matthew, who is now a director and writer residing in New York, and his sister Lauren have written letters which will be read at the service
‘He won’t be coming. For no reason. I don’t know, I mean maybe he needs to put a statement out to stop everybody thinking that there’s a rift or something.’
Bert died aged 83 on October 30 after a well publicised battle with illness over recent months.
He was hospitalised in March and underwent surgery on his leg in May. He needed surgery after his toe became infected before Christmas.
The infection was ‘linked to his diabetes’ and was threatening his life, with doctors telling him the surgery was a ‘life or death decision’.
Doctors told Bert that if he kept the leg then he would have just ‘months to live’ rather than years if he chose to amputate.
Matthew Newton in 2017. Little has been seen of him in recent years. His mum Patti has dismissed suggestions he had a rift with his famous father Bert
At the time of his death Bert had been receiving palliative care at a clinic in Melbourne
WHO IS MATTHEW NEWTON
Little has been seen of Matthew since he settled down in New York with Catherine Schneiderman following a series of scandals.
This includes domestic violence allegations from two former girlfriends: Australian actresses Brooke Satchwell, 40, and Rachael Taylor, 37.
Matthew was also arrested twice in Miami, Florida, in 2012 – the first for trespassing and resisting officers, while a second incident saw him charged with battery and resisting arrest after he attacked a hotel receptionist.
Following the charges, Matthew checked into the Betty Ford Center in California for 90 days of alcohol and drug treatment.
He had starred in a range of successful Australian television shows before moving overseas.
He last wrote the 2020 action thriller film Ava, starring Jessica Chastain.
Matthew was to direct the film as well but stepped down after the production was criticised due to his controversial past.
Patti lashed out at media reports that continue to suggest her son had been estranged from his father in the years before his death.
‘There was no rift. He’s had many long conversations with Bert in the hospital and that was all fine,’ she said.
The beloved singer, who is 76, said Matthew would be held-up by the Covid-19 pandemic, which continues to cause havoc across the United States.
‘It’s just the logistics of it all, and with Covid, and with everything else,’ she said.
Patti revealed Matthew was able to see his father regularly while he was alive via video calls.
‘But he didn’t personally, so I would find that a bit sad if the time that he saw him was when he wasn’t really alive.’
Patti revealed Matthew had spoken to Bert in his final days via video conference where they would discuss his famous father’s relationships with some of Hollywood’s hottest stars of his era.
‘He had the best conversations. They’re both into movies and things, so they talked about old movies and I think the height of the conversation was about Glenn Ford because Bert was the only one that Glenn Ford would speak to and Matthew had heard the story and he wanted to hear it again,’ she said.
‘I’ve had so many conversations with him. We had a conversation last night and all the family were here. (The media) want to make it a rift, but there was no rift. There was never a rift with Bert,’ she added.
He was hospitalised in March and underwent surgery on his leg in May. He needed surgery after his toe became infected before Christmas. The infection was ‘linked to his diabetes’ and was threatening his life, with doctors telling him the surgery was a ‘life or death decision’
Patti and Bert Newton in happier times