By Eoin Molloy
In a move so brazen it would make OJ Simpson himself cringe, Oscar Pistorius plans to write a book detailing his version of what happened the night he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, dead on 14 February 2013.
Earlier this month Pistorius was acquitted of pre-meditated murder following an exhaustive six-month trial. The double-amputee sprinter was however found guilty of ‘culpable homicide’ by Judge Thokozile Masipa. This crime carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years.
Should Pistorius receive a suspended sentence, which seems likely, he will certainly have enough time to ponder an angle for his sure-to-be bestseller. The move would be highly lucrative for Pistorius, who is likely struggling under the weight of six months of legal expenses.
Plans for the book were announced by the athlete’s manager, Peet van Zyl, in an exclusive with The Observer. He said that he and Pistorius had discussed ‘ideas and concepts’, but he declined to go ‘into much detail’. He said that Pistorius himself will announce details of the book no later than October 13. This would not be the first foray into writing for the paralimpian. He wrote his triumphant autobiography ‘Blade Runner’ five years ago when the world saw him in a very different light.
The new book, which has no title as of yet, is highly reminiscent of OJ Simpson’s ‘If I Did It’. This notorious book, published after the former NFL footballer had been acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her supposed lover, contained disturbing passages where OJ details how he would have killed his wife, if he did in fact do it. Here’s to hoping that Pistorius shows a little more respect for his dead girlfriend’s family.
Given the incredible amount of human interest in the saga, it seems as though a film about Reeva’s killing and the ensuing trial is inescapable, with several production companies already expressing interest in basing a screenplay on Pistorius’s side of the story.
The parents of the deceased, June and Barry Steenkamp, have yet to comment on Pistorius’s book plans. They have most recently been reached for comment by ITV News where they said that they did not ‘fully believe’ the intruder story that Pistorius has re-iterated throughout the trial.
It remains to be seen whether Pistorius will be able to justify writing such a seemingly-exploitive memoir. If he truly did mistake Reeva for an intruder, he would not feel the need to shout his innocence from the rooftops, as it were. He would remain respectfully quiet about what happened that night. That is the very least her grieving family deserves.