Oscar Pistorius: Samantha Taylor tells all

2014-09-14 15:00

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Samantha Taylor’s relationship with Oscar Pistorius ended when she saw him on TV with another woman.

Now she says that – unlike the woman she saw him with, Reeva Steenkamp – she survived her relationship because she continually placated him, and tried her best not to arouse his ire.

Samantha, who was 17 when she met Pistorius, says she and Steenkamp were very different in how they dealt with him. Whereas she would always back down and try to pacify him, Steenkamp at 30 was older and more assertive.

“They weren’t together for very long. So she also probably didn’t know how he reacted to her reaction.”

Pistorius’ violent reactions are the subject of a tell-all book co-written by Samantha’s mother, Trish.

It presents a very different side of the athlete from that of the sensitive, soft-spoken man in court.

Samantha told City Press Pistorius put her through hell and she had to hide his gun from him twice because she feared for her safety.

Their two-year relationship at first seemed like a fairy tale – life was instantly glamorous, with photographers and a reality TV show. But slowly she noticed a change in him: he had a terrible temper and the slightest irritation would trigger it.

“A lot of things that usually wouldn’t set someone off,” she said.

“If we fought about something that I was wearing, I would have to go and change. He was very controlling.

“He always wanted to know where I was, who I was with. If he didn’t believe me, he would phone my family.”

He had complete control of Samantha’s appearance.

“He didn’t like it if I dressed up. I was never really allowed to wear high heels or have earrings or belly rings or anything like that,” Taylor said.

He criticised her appearance constantly and accused her of trying to attract the attention of other men if she wore make-up. Taylor wanted to start her own fashion line but Pistorius was so disparaging, she eventually gave up.

Trish said if her daughter was “somewhere where he didn’t want her to be?…?all hell broke loose”.

Samantha said she couldn’t go anywhere without his knowledge. “He would ask me to send photos of what I’m wearing and the person I’m sitting next to. He would think I’m out partying. So I’d have to send him a photo.”

Trish described the relationship as “definitely emotional”, involving “total manipulation” and “very abusive”.

Then why didn’t she simply forbid it, or persuade her daughter to leave him?

“I didn’t want to be the one to say: ‘This has to end forever.’ It doesn’t ever end forever when a mother says that,” said Trish.

The guns were a big problem, according to Samantha. “He was always at the shooting range, always with his boys, either racing cars or shooting.”

When Oscar wasn’t training, he would drink heavily – often getting paralytically drunk. Samantha said she had to hide his gun twice because she was terrified he would shoot her.

Once, she claimed, he had been drinking so heavily he fell and cut his lip, and then accused her of beating him up.

“He would say, you know: ‘You! You bitch! You beat me in the face.’ Things like that where you don’t know how to react?…?He was kind of like: ‘Where’s my gun? I need my gun. I can’t go to bed without the gun.’

“And I just thought: ‘You know, if there’s a gun around, anything can go wrong.’ So I just prevented

it as much as I could.”

When mother and daughter heard Pistorius had shot Steenkamp, their first reaction was it could have

been Samantha.

Towards the end of his relationship with Samantha, Trish said, Pistorius was coming undone.

They felt unable to speak about it to anyone because he was regarded as a “golden boy”, and

the Olympics and Paralympics were looming.

Pistorius was very lonely when training in Italy and would often sob on the phone to Samantha.

“And his emotions were so extreme,” she said.

“Because he would be crying, and then if he won a race or something and I congratulated him, he would say to me things like: ‘Don’t contact me ever again. You upset me emotionally.’ And then, two days later, he would phone me and cry.”

Oscar – An Accident Waiting to Happen will be launched at Exclusive Books in The Mall, Rosebank, on Thursday at 6pm Trish repeatedly advised him to go for counseling and although he’d promise to go, he never did.

“It was so draining that by sort of November, when he was with Reeva, it was like a weight had completely been lifted off all our shoulders. We felt we could all breathe again.”

In the book Taylor writes that Pretorius’ friend Darren Fresco phoned Samantha after their break up to tell her “the whole of Johannesburg” knows what a “slut” she is and that “our entire family had all better ‘watch our backs’ if we came to Johannesburg again”.

Samantha was insulted on Twitter by Pistorius’ friends so often that she later felt the need to write to Pistorius, asking him “please put a stop to this”.

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