A spokesperson for Oscar Pistorius has denied accusations that the athlete had taken acting lessons before taking the stand to defend himself from charges he murdered his girlfriend.
A South African newspaper columnist alleged that the Olympic athlete’s emotional testimony—during which he has repeatedly wept uncontrollably—wasn’t genuine. “I have it from a reliable source that you are taking acting lessons for your days in court,” Jani Allan wrote in an open letter to Pistorius on her website. “Your coach has an impossible task… Oscar, you are the latest in a long line of faux heroes.”
Pistorius, 27, testified that he mistakenly shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked bathroom door, thinking that she was a home invader.
A statement by Anneliese Burgess, the media manager for the Pistorius family, said Tuesday that the allegation was not just “totally devoid of any truth” but that it “makes a mockery of the enormous human tragedy involving the Steenkamp family and our client and his family.”
Pistorius’ trial will resume May 5.