Steve Irwin's Widow Gets Only Tape of His Death

Steve Irwin's Widow Gets Only Tape of His Death
Steve Irwin
Nicolas Khayat/ABACA

01/04/2007 AT 11:10 AM EST

Terri Irwin, widow of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, has been given the original video of her husband's Sept. 4 death from a stingray barb, Australian officials said.

"The footage has been the subject of widespread media interest and it was wholly appropriate that we took all possible steps to ensure something of such a personal and tragic nature did not fall into the wrong hands," Queensland State Coroner Michael Barnes said in a statement. "This is in line with the wishes of the Irwin family."

Authorities gave Irwin the footage in late December and destroyed all other copies to prevent the footage from being made public, the Associated Press reports.

Police had made several copies of the video to assist them in their investigation into Steve Irwin's death, but they were always kept under tight security, the coroner's office said.

Steve Irwin, 44, died while filming a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast.

In September, the American-born Terri Irwin told Barbara Walters that she had not seen the video and didn't want it ever to be shown on TV. "What purpose would that serve?" she said.

John Stainton, Steve's longtime business partner and friend, who was with him on the day he died, told Walters, "It should never be aired. It's just a horrible piece of film tape."

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