Johannesburg: South Africa's Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius was thrown out of a nightclub over the weekend after being involved in a drunken brawl, the Star newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing witnesses.
The athlete, who is currently on trial accused of murdering his girlfriend, was in the VIP section of a plush Johannesburg nightclub when the altercation occurred with another patron, Jared Mortimer, it said.
Oscar Pistorius. Pic/ AFP
Mortimer told the newspaper that a friend introduced him to Pistorius, who then launched into a tirade, telling him how he had been "screwed over" by Mortimer's friends. "We were drinking tequila and I still remember putting down my drink and thinking I couldn't drink it while my friends were being spoken of like that," he said.
He said at some point the sprinter known as the "Blade Runner" got aggressive and started poking him in the chest. "He was close to my face and at that point I pushed him to get him away from me," he said. "A chair was behind his legs and he fell to the ground." The curtains of the VIP area of the club in Sandton, a wealthy suburb north of Johannesburg, were drawn so that nobody could see Pistorius was there.
"A little bit later he had a confrontation with another man and the bouncers were asked to please remove him because he was causing trouble," Mortimer said. Another patron who saw Pistorius at the club told the daily that the athlete was "flat-out drunk".
"He came up to us and pulled zap signs in our faces. That's when I realised it was Pistorius." said the unnamed witness. Pistorius's spokeswoman told the Star that Mortimer "started to aggressively engage him (Pistorius) on matters relating to the trial. "An argument ensued during which (Pistorius) asked to be left alone. Oscar left soon thereafter," she said, adding that Pistorius "regrets the decision to go into a public space and thereby inviting unwelcome attention."
The day after the altercation, Pistorius broke five months of silence on social websites with a series of tweets on love and pain, including a quote from the Bible. Pistorius, 27, is standing trial accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013.
He has told the court in Pretoria that he shot Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door in his apartment after mistaking her for an intruder. Prosecutors say he deliberately killed her after an argument. As part of his bail conditions, he was initially ordered to abstain from alcohol consumption, but later successfully got the ban lifted. His trial is set to resume on August 7 for closing arguments.