Disgraced South African track star Oscar Pistorius has “strenuously denied” reports that claim he was partying and flirting with a group of women in Johannesburg last Saturday.
Pistorius has kept a relatively low profile since the events of Feb. 14, the night that he shot and killed girlfriend Reeve Steenkamp after allegedly mistaking her for a home invader. Since being released on bail, the man known as “Blade Runner” has been staying at his uncle’s house, eschewing the widespread international attention that his case has received in favor of anonymity.
However, South Africa’s Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Pistorius appeared to be “relaxed and happy” during a controversial appearance at Kitchen Bar, a popular destination in Johannesburg.
"He was drinking shooters and he was flirtatious. He didn't seem like someone [who had] lost the love of his life,” a source told the Sunday Times. Pistorius’ casual demeanor is said to have shocked restaurant patrons.
"He was greeting a couple and then gave the woman a little pat on her backside. It was just so inappropriate," the source added.
Anneliese Burgess, the 26-year-old athlete’s spokesperson, addressed the rumored appearance on Saturday.
"Oscar did go out last Saturday with friends," Burgess told the Sunday Times. "It was the first time since the tragic and horrific events of the 14th of February that Oscar went out with friends. He has been out of the house with family, but this was the first time he went out to a restaurant with people other than close family."
"It is regrettable that what was supposed to be a low-key evening reconnecting with friends is now being blown out of proportion for sensational reasons,” she added.
Burgess outwardly denied the allegations of inappropriate behavior, stating that Pistorius “strenuously and vigorously denies any inappropriate behavior towards any people or women present, or 'partying it up' with shooters," the Telegraph reports.
She also mentioned that Pistorius left the restaurant when "public interest became overwhelming.” He then briefly visited another bar across the street, before leaving “for the same reason,” Burgess told the Sunday Times.
Pistorius’ provocative public appearance comes on the heels of a statement last week, in which his representatives again attempted to explain his grief over Steenkamp’s death. "There is not a moment in the day that Oscar does not mourn for his girlfriend, and Reeva's family and all those who were close to her are in his thoughts constantly,” the statement read.
Pistorius will return to court on June 4, and faces a possible life sentence if found guilty of murder.
Tom Barrabi is a reporter for the International Business Times. He graduated from Fairfield University in 2011, and has also written for Men's Fitness, Complex, GuySpeed, and...