4 October 2017

South Africa: Pistorius Family - Blade Runner Killer Movie Is a 'Gross Misrepresentation'

The family of South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius is taking legal action against cable channel Lifetime over "Blade Runner Killer" a film about the athlete's murder of his late girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The movie was made without the consultation of the Steenkamp and Pistorius families. Pistorius was convicted of murder and sentenced to six years' imprisonment for the crime.

Cable TV Channel Lifetime made a film about South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius and the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. The exclusive promo for the movie "Blade Runner Killer" was released on Entertainment Weekly. The movie stars Andreas Damm as Pistorius and Toni Garrn as Steenkamp and centres on the fatal shooting and the court case.

The movie was made without the consultation of the two families: Steenkamp and Pistorius.

Tania Koen, the Steenkamp family's lawyer, confirmed to Channel24 that no approval was sought saying: " They [the Steenkamp family] were not approached or consulted at all, and did not participate or endorse the movie in any way."

Steenkamp's parents said in a seperate statement that they had been "horrified and upset" to read a report in US media that the film would be told from the perspective of Steenkamp and her mother. "Any impression that is created that ... the movie is endorsed by the Steenkamp family is untrue and incorrect," the family was quoted saying.

Oscar's brother, Carl Pistorius, also initially confirmed that the Pistorius family were not contacted by the producers of the movie, saying: "The title sounds like the movie was made with a bias to the producers." He went on to say: "We can't control the content people put out. Directors and producers have the right to make movies about whatever topic they choose. Looking at trademark and image rights, we will be taking the matter further with our legal team."

The Pistorius family is now set to sue the makers of the film that is to be released next month, saying it was "a gross misrepresentation of the truth. The 'film' is rather a representation of what the prosecution tried to portray. We will be taking legal action."

Millions of people worldwide followed the Pistorius trial a psychological drama that spanned more than 40 days, broadcasted on South African television and amplified on social media. Despite maintaining that he believed he was shooting at an intruder Pistorius was finally sentenced to six years in prison for killing Reeva Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, in 2013 after firing four bullets from a handgun through a closed toilet door in his home in Pretoria.

Blade Runner Killer is due to premiere in the US on Nov. 11

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