Pistorius in secret talks with assault accuser

  • AFP, Johannesburg
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2013 04:41 IST

Star athlete Oscar Pistorius, charged with murdering his girlfriend, is holding "confidential" talks to resolve a lawsuit against a woman who had accused him of assault, his lawyer said on Friday.

"There are confidential settlement negotiations underway," attorney Gary Pritchard confirmed.

The Paralympic and Olympic sprinter is suing his former neighbour Cassidy Taylor-Memmory who in 2009 said he slammed a door at her during a party at his house.

He was arrested and spent a night in jail, but police later dropped the charge.

"It was a couple of years back. He claimed damages to his reputation from her," Pritchard said of the 2.2-million-rand ($244,000) lawsuit.

The case is due to come before a regional court in Pretoria, the weekly Mail & Guardian reported on Friday, but the athlete is working to resolve it quietly.

"We are trying to settle outside of court," said Pritchard.

Pistorius was released on bail a week ago after prosecutors charged him with intentionally shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine's Day.

He claims he mistook her for an intruder in the dead of night.

The previous assault charge was brought up in Pistorius's bail hearing on the murder charges, and the same police officer investigated both cases.

Warrant officer Hilton Botha in 2009 rejected Taylor-Memmory's assault claims after investigation.

Last week Pistorius's legal team cast doubt over his testimony and policing after Steenkamp's killing.

Botha was pulled from the Steenkamp murder case after it emerged that he was himself facing charges of attempted murder for shooting at a minibus.

 

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