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The family of paralympian Oscar Pistorius spoke out Tuesday after reports of a bar brawl Saturday circulated on social media. "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 behaviour," said a family statement from Leo Pistorius, the athlete's uncle. "Oscar is grappling with an extreme level of emotional pain that is manifesting itself in some of his recent unwise actions and choices."

Pistorius, who is free on bail on murder charges in the death of his girlfriend, was in a booth with one of his cousins at VIP Rooms, a club in Johannesburg, when a man identified as "Mr. Mortimer" walked up and "started to aggressively interrogate him on matters relating to the trial," a spokesman for Pistorius said Monday.

"Mr Mortimer, who has been unknown to Oscar and our family until he approached the press with his story of the so-called 'altercation' in which he has cast himself as the victim, is a man peddling untruths designed for maximum attention and maximum damage," said the family statement. When contacted by NBC News on Tuesday, Mortimer said: "I have already said everything that happened. I want to get back to my life and work. I am loosing [sic] money by not working and talking to reporters."



— Daniel Arkin