Oscar Pistorius 'did not take acting lessons'

Tuesday April 22 2014

Oscar Pistorius in tears as he talks to his lawyer Barry Roux on March 10, 2014 at the high court in Pretoria.

Oscar Pistorius in tears as he talks to his lawyer Barry Roux on March 10, 2014 at the high court in Pretoria.  AFP PHOTO POOL/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

By AFP
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A spokeswoman for Oscar Pistorius has said suggestions that the athlete had taken acting lessons before his murder trial testimony were "totally devoid of any truth".

We "deny that our client has undergone any 'acting lessons' or any form of emotional coaching", Anneliese Burgess, media manager for the Pistorius family, said in a statement on his website.

Pistorius broke down repeatedly in the witness box as he gave his version of shooting dead his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on 14 February 2013.

His vomiting and loud crying have often disrupted proceedings, and some have questioned his sincerity.

Well known South African columnist Jani Allan claimed he had been coached for his emotional performance.

MAKE A MOCKERY

"I have it from a reliable source that you are taking acting lessons for your days in court. Your coach has an impossible task," she wrote in an open letter posted on her website.

"Oscar, you are the latest in a long line of faux heroes. Like so many who preceded you, you have betrayed your people and disappointed your fans," she added.

But the Pistorius family described her allegations as fictitious and said: "This type of comment makes a mockery of the enormous human tragedy involving the Steenkamp family and our client and his family," Burgess said in the statement.

Pistorius says he fired four shots through a locked cubicle door thinking Steenkamp was an intruder coming to attack him in the dead of night. Prosecutors have argued that the shooting came after a row.

His trial resumes on 5 May.