Although the Academy Awards are approaching this weekend, there's been another Oscar making headlines — Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, who was granted bail today after being charged with the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Commonly referred to as the "blade runner" because of his prosthetic legs, the South African athlete has become an Olympic idol, thanks to six Paralympic gold medals and his ability to compete with able-bodied athletes. That heroic image has taken a turn, though, because Oscar admitted to shooting and killing his girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Keep reading to learn more about the high-profile case:
Oscar's Olympic Background
- Oscar's first win came at age 17, when he took home the gold for the 200-meter T44 final at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.
- He quickly became known as an Olympic hero, competing in races for athletes with one leg as a double amputee.
- At the Paralympic Games in Beijing, he won three gold medals and was personally invited to meet with Nelson Mandela.
- In 2012, Oscar became the first amputee runner to qualify for the Olympics, and although he didn't take home a medal in London, he's won six Paralympic gold medals in his career.
Reeva Steenkamp's Life Cut Short
- Reeva had the brains and the beauty: the law graduate also worked as a model.
- The TV personality had signed on to be part of the South African reality show Tropika Island of Treasure, and the program started filming two days after her death.
- The week before her death, celebrity gossip magazine Heat published what they've claimed to be Reeva's final interview. She gushed about Oscar and said, "I don't want anything to come in the way of his career."
- Now 26, Oscar admitted to shooting and killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day.
- The Olympian claimed that the murder was an accident, saying that his girlfriend was in the bathroom with the door closed, and he believed she was an intruder.
- Prosecutors charged Oscar with premeditated murder, and in the wake of the incident, sponsors like Nike and Oakley have suspended their contracts with the athlete.
- The case took a turn when prosecutors learned that the chief investigator, South African police officer Hilton Botha, was being investigated for seven counts of murder himself after a shooting incident last year.
Current Case Status
- On Feb. 22, Oscar was granted bail pending his trial.
- With bail set at a million rand — about $112,000 — the case has been adjourned until June 4.