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Friday
Mar012013

Pistorius to Appear in Court on Issue Separate from Murder Charge

Photo by Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images)(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Olympian Oscar Pistorius’s lawyers are trying to reach an out-of-court settlement with a woman Pistorius is suing for allegedly damaging his reputation when she called police on him years ago. This, while fighting a murder charge after shooting his girlfriend on Valentines Day.

The case stems from an incident in September 2009 when Pistorius escorted a former neighbor out of his house during a party because she was drunk and insulting other guests, the runner said.

The neighbor, Cassidy Taylor-Memmory, 21, has filed a counter-suit asking for a public apology.  She said Pistorius injured her foot when he slammed the front door on her.  Pistorius claimed she kicked at the front door and must have injured her foot that way.

Police said they were called to the house, but the assault case was immediately dropped.  It came to public attention again during Pistorius’ fourday bail hearing last week when the lead police detective in the murder case against Pistorius, Hilton Botha, testified he was the officer who responded to the 2009 incident.  After Botha’s poor performance on the stand and admission of investigative errors, he was immediately dropped from the murder case.

Pistorius’ attorney, Gary Pritchard, told ABC News Friday his client lost two speaking engagements and an endorsement deal because of the publicity surrounding her 2009 assault claim.  He said he had asked for a settlement weeks before Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day for the shooting death of model Reeva Steenkamp.

The lawsuit against Taylor-Memmory was scheduled to go to court Feb. 20 but was delayed because of the bail hearing, according to Taylor-Memmory’s attorney, Ladine Botha.  Botha told ABC News she has given Pistorius’ legal team until March 5 to agree on a settlement or the case will proceed to court.

Pistorius is scheduled to appear in court again on June 4 for a pre-trial hearing in the murder case against him.  He was granted bail last week after a magistrate determined he was neither a flight risk nor threat to the community.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio