After 4 1/2 months, the Oscar Pistorius trial is finally coming to a close. The defense rested July 8, and closing arguments are scheduled for Aug. 7.
Since the beginning of March, Pistorius and his lawyers have been trying to prove he accidentally shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013. The prosecution contends Pistorius and Steenkamp had gotten into an argument earlier in the night, and the double-amputee knew it was his girlfriend whom he shot through the bathroom door.
During the course of the trial, Pistorius has caused controversy away from the courtroom. Just weeks after he was evaluated at a mental health hospital, the former Olympian was involved in a dispute at a nightclub. Pistorius reportedly got into an altercation at the VIP Room in Johannesburg. A representative for Pistorius said the 27-year-old was being harassed by businessman Jared Mortimer.
"The individual, according to my client, started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial. An argument ensued during which my client asked to be left alone," said Pistorius spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess in a statement.
Mortimer tells a different tale, saying Pistorius was drunk and egged him on. Mortimer alleges Pistorius poked him in the chest, and insulted his friends and South African President Jacob Zuma’s family.
The recent nightclub altercation isn’t the only report of Pistorius’ drinking causing trouble. The (Johannesburg) Times detailed an incident that took place less than two months after the defendant shot Steenkamp. The report said Pistorius attended a party last year, and made advances toward model Kesiah Frank after getting drunk.
"He arrived and was subdued, but once we started with the shooters he loosened up and started dancing,” a guest of the party told the Times.
"He turned his attention on poor Kesiah and he almost harassed her with his constant remarks. It was obvious he was instantly smitten with her, but she made it clear she was not interested. It was kind of pathetic to witness."
Pistorius has admitted to drinking more since Steenkamp’s death, and the athlete’s family has been worried about his recent actions.
"Those of us closest to him have been witness to his escalating sense of loneliness and alienation,” Pistorius’s family said in a statement. “This, we believe, is underlying some of his self-harming behavior.”
Pistorius faces 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of murder.