Oscar Pistorius' family said today that going to a nightclub where he got into an altercation in the middle of his murder trial was "unwise" and worried that the paralymian known as the Blade Runner was increasingly involved in "self-harming behavior."
Pistorius' uncle, Leo Pistorius, issued the statement after Pistorius had a confrontation in a club Saturday in which he was alleged to have been grilled about the trial, insulted the family of South Africa's president and pushed to the ground.
Leo Pistorius said "some of the outrageous claims simply cannot stand uncorrected."
The uncle also suggested that the family disapproved of Pistorius' trip to the nightclub, saying that going there "whilst his court case is still underway was unwise."
He added, however, "Those of us closest to him have been witness to his escalating sense of loneliness and alienation. This, we believe, is underlying some of his self-harming behavior."
"As a family we are counseling Oscar to find ways of dealing with his feelings of isolation," the uncle wrote.
He said the family believes "that Oscar is grappling with an extreme level of emotional pain that is manifesting itself in some of his recent unwise actions and choices."
Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, early in the morning of Valentine's Day last year. The legless sprinter insists he shot her through a closed bathroom door thinking she was an intruder. He faces at least 25 years in prison if convicted.
A report written by a court appointed psychiatrist who examined Pistorius concluded that the athlete was being treated by a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist and "Should he not receive proper clinical care, his condition is likely to worsen and increase the risk for suicide."
His lawyer Barry Roux told the court that Pistorius suffers from "post-traumatic stress disorder, and a major depressive disorder."
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority said today the club incident will have no bearing on the trial since Pistorius did not violate his bail conditions. South African police are not investigating the incident because no complaint was registered.
The statement by Leo Pistorius also challenged the version of events offered by Jared Mortimer, the man who had the confrontation with Oscar Pistorius Saturday night in the VIP Room. Mortimer has told South African media that Pistorius poked him in the chest, insulted his friends and the family President Jacob Zuma.
"We wish to categorically state that there is absolutely no truth to this man’s assertions that Oscar, for instance, insulted the president of South Africa," the statement said. "Oscar was at school with one of President Zuma’s sons and liked him a lot. Oscar also has great appreciation of President’s Zuma’s extraordinary support of the paralympians."
Leo Pistorius added, "My investigations indicate that Mortimer was the aggressor and eyewitnesses confirm this."