For most, the irony of the Oscar Pistorius — the double-amputee Olympic runner nicknamed “Blade Runner” — alleged murder of his girlfriend is this now infamous Nike ad:
Yeah, it’s all fun and games until the potential of domestic violence rears its ugly head.
For lawyers, the irony is of Pistorius’s arrest is that he’s a famous client of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. That’s a firm that knows a little something about a fall from grace. But in a world where sports icons seem to be competing to become the biggest disappointment, the story of Pistorius and his model/lawyer girlfriend seems to win the race to the bottom…
The New York Times is now suggesting that the alleged shooting was no accident:
Early news reports here that Mr. Pistorius, a gun enthusiast, had accidentally shot his girlfriend, thinking she was intruder, gave way to grim police news conferences announcing previous law enforcement complaints about domestic incidents at his home and the current charges of murder. The development stunned a nation that had elevated Mr. Pistorius to the status of a national sporting hero, an emblem of the ability to overcome acute adversity and a symbol of South Africa’s ability to project achievements onto the world stage.
I think it’s time for a new rule that no real life athletes are allowed to be heroes ever again. From now on heroes must apply to a three-judge panel made up of Stan Lee, Siri, and Richard Posner.
In multiple reports, Pistorius girlfriend has been described as a “leggy blonde” because the mainstream media wants to make banal “he has no legs” jokes just like the rest of us, but they don’t want to be called out on it. Instead I’ll just point out that she probably shouldn’t have dated a Replicant and own it. From the Associated Press:
The leggy blonde model tweeted that Valentine’s Day should be “a day of love for everyone.”…
Instead Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in the home of her boyfriend, paralympian superstar Oscar Pistorius, who was charged with her murder.
Steenkamp, South African model with a law degree, campaigned against rape and violence against women.
Allegedly, Pistorius wasn’t exactly carrying around a starter’s pistol. It’s not uncommon for famous South Africans to be well-armed because of the threat of crime and home invasion:
His arrest is a stark reminder of the violence that permeates South Africa, where fear of armed robberies and carjackings prompt the wealthy to take refuge in heavily guarded gated compounds and arm themselves with handguns.
“The best case is that he shot her by mistake,” said Hagen Engler, a journalist who edited FHM, a magazine that frequently featured Ms. Steenkamp, whom he knew well. “And that is a particularly South African mistake, that we are so paranoid you are ready to fire off bullets when you don’t know is coming….”
On his webpage, Pistorius still has a thank you to Dewey & LeBoeuf that reads:
In order for us to accomplish our dreams, we sometimes need the support of others to get there. I’d like to thank the international law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf for all their support in helping me realize my dream of competing in able-bodied events against the world’s best sprinters.
During some of the most trying months of my life, Dewey & LeBoeuf served as pro bono legal counsel as I appealed a decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) that previously banned me from competing in sanctioned able-bodied events.
It’ll be interesting to see if anybody wants to defend him on murder charges, pro bono.
I’ll admit, it feels like the story of Oscar Pistorius is mirroring the trajectory of his one-time law firm. He fought to compete against the best competition, got in the race but didn’t win, and somehow ended up allegedly killing someone close to him.
I hope your Valentine’s Day is better than this… because thinking about Dewey & LeBoeuf really gets me down.
Pistorius Charged With Murder in Shooting of Girlfriend [New York Times]