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Books

Is Oscar Pistorius writing a memoir?

Oscar Pistorius
South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, who was found guilty of culpable homicide, is writing a book.
(Siphiwe Sibeko / AFP / Getty Images)

South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, recently convicted of “culpable homicide” in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, might be writing a book about the model’s slaying, according to his manager, Peet van Zyl.

Or maybe not. Despite telling a reporter, “He will write his own book. We’ve discussed it,” Van Zyl now appears to be backtracking, claiming he was quoted out of context. It’s possible that he was, but it’s also possible he’s walking back the comments after extremely negative reactions to the prospect of a tell-all book from Pistorius. The athlete was acquitted of murder in Steenkamp’s killing but convicted of “culpable homicide,” a lesser offense similar to manslaughter in the United States.

Despite Van Zyl’s kind-of-denial, it would almost be more surprising if Pistorius didn’t write a book. It would amount to easy money for the Paralympics legend, and the chance to tell his side of the story on a global stage could prove irresistible.

It’s hard not to think of O. J. Simpson’s infamous book “If I Did It,” which the ex-football player wrote after being acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson’s book contained passages detailing how he would have committed the murders, if he actually had (which, of course, he denies).

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It’s unlikely that there would be any legal impediments to a possible Pistorius memoir. While some American jurisdictions have “Son of Sam laws,” which prevent convicted criminals from profiting from their crimes by writing books, few other countries have similar prohibitions — and the laws are controversial even in the United States.

Whether the book happens or not (bet on the former), don’t expect Pistorius to fade away. Even if he’s sentenced to prison, he’ll eventually be able to return to the Paralympics.


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