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Oscar Pistorius discusses settlement with family of slain girlfriend

August 20, 2013|By David Wharton
  • South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates Court for an indictment hearing Monday.
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius appears in Pretoria Magistrates… (Jemal Countess / Getty Images )

Oscar Pistorius' lawyers have approached the family of Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he is accused of murdering, hoping to negotiate an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit separate from the criminal case the athlete faces.

Both sides confirmed the talks to South African media outlets but declined to discuss any details.

"You will understand this is a very sensitive situation," Kenny Oldwage, one of Pistorius' attorneys, told the South African Times.

Pistorius, a double-amputee sprinter who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, was indicted Monday for shooting Steenkamp in the early morning hours of Valentine's Day at his home.

His trial is scheduled to begin in March.

The athlete known worldwide as the Blade Runner has claimed he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four bullets through a closed door into a toilet cubicle in his bathroom. Police and prosecutors say an argument prompted the shooting.

Steenkamp and her brother had helped support the family financially. In their lawsuit, her parents are reportedly seeking approximately $300,000 in compensation for loss of income and emotional stress.

"None of this should have happened," Steenkamp's mother, June, was quoted as saying. "We want justice. We want the person who did this to pay."

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