Oscar Pistorius, who is on trial for murder, got into a fight in a nightclub with a man who “aggressively engaged” him about the shooting death of Reeva Steenkamp.
The 27-year-old athlete’s spokeswoman confirmed the altercation took place at the VIP Room club in the upmarket district of Sandton in Johannesburg on Saturday, the Telegraph reports.
She insisted the Olympian was sitting quietly in the VIP section of the nightclub when he was approached by a man named by the South African media as Jared Mortimer.
Mortimer told South African news website The Juice that Pistorius was “drunk and very aggressive” and poked him in the chest while telling him “you’ll never get the better of me”.
Mortimer told The Juice he was introduced to Pistorius by a mutual friend, and that the athlete brought up Darren Fresco, who gave evidence for the prosecution at his trial about how Pistorius once fired a gun through a car sunroof during a day out.
“Oscar knew one of my friends and said, ‘Oh, you are the infamous Jared Mortimer’,” he told the website. “He immediately started talking about his friends and how they had backstabbed him. He mentioned Darren Fresco.
“He was going on about how influential his family is and how connected they are. He even pulled out his phone to show me pictures of armoured cars.”
Mortimer said he pushed Pistorius after the Olympian poked him in the chest.
Pistorius fell over into a chair, causing bouncers to intervene before the athlete left the nightclub.
The incident comes just days after Pistorius’s trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp was adjourned following the close of the defence case. The case will resume on August 7 for closing arguments, before the judge announces her verdict, which could carry a life sentence, on a date yet to be set.
Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door at his home in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year but claims he believed she was an intruder.
Anneliese Burgess, a spokeswoman for Pistorius, confirmed he was at VIP Room with one of his cousins.
“They sat in a quiet area of the private VIP section when they were approached by the individual,” she said.
“The individual in question, according to our client, started to aggressively engage him on matters relating to the trial. An argument ensued during which our client asked to be left alone. Oscar left soon thereafter with his cousin. Our client regrets the decision to go into a public place and thereby inviting unwelcome attention.”