September 17, 2014
Oscar Pistorius’s manager denies claims of a tell-all
by Nick Davies
Last week, Olympic athlete and double amputee Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but guilty of culpable homicide and negligent handling of a firearm. Following the verdict in a South African court, rumors swirled that Pistorius would write a memoir about the killing, which occurred in February 2013.
Maria Tadeo, however, reports for the Independent that Pistorius’s manager Peet Van Zyl has denied these claims, saying that they were a result of his being misquoted. The Observer had quoted Van Zyl as saying, “He will write his own book. We’ve discussed it. We’ve talked about ideas and concepts. I’m not going to go into details now.”
Van Zyl now tells the Independent that “during the interview, I was asked about the various books (about the death of Ms. Steenkamp) that are in the works. All I said was ‘If and when Oscar decides to write a memoir, that’s the only book that will matter.'”
Writing a memoir about the events surrounding Steenkamp’s death would put Pistorius at risk of violating South African laws, which, Tadeo explains, “stipulate that no person subject to a criminal conviction may derive profit ‘directly or indirectly for any published account’ relating to the offence in question.” This, of course, hasn’t stopped other people from writing about the incident: the mother of an ex-girlfriend of Pistorius’s has published a book about their relationship, and journalists Barry Bateman and Mandy Wiener — among the first to report on Steenkamp’s killing — have a book out later this month.
Pistorius is due to be sentenced next month, and faces up to fifteen years in prison.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.