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Pretoria - Shielded by a pair of dark glasses, Aimée Pistorius trailed the police officers escorting her brother, Oscar, to the police van. Hours later, she would sit composed alongside her eldest brother, Carl, and their father Henke, as Pistorius broke down and wept in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
These scenes are far removed from the smiling portrait of the 23-year-old Aimée and Pistorius, who share the cover of Afrikaans magazine, Sarie, this month. “We support each other because we are family,” Aimée says of the close bond between the siblings.
Aimée, who works for financial services company Investec, “never thought her brother would become the star he is”, while Pistorius, 26, tells Sarie how Aimée is one of his best friends.
“She gives good advice. She’s very grown-up for her age,” he says. “She’s actually like my older sister. She goes out of her way to do small things for me… If my PA is busy, she runs around for me and makes my hair appointments. Sometimes she cuts my hair herself.”
In the interview, he reveals how he handles negative publicity much more easily than he once did. “Fame is not so great. Like anything in life, it’s got its high and low points. The best thing you can do is not to let it go to your head… just live your life and be nice with people.”
He tells of the “heartbreaking” articles written about an incident in which a girlfriend allegedly cheated on him with Clifton Shores TV producer Quinton van der Burgh.
“You can’t always give your side of the story because you don’t want your private life to be spoken about in the open… You trust someone and then they go and do something completely unexpected. You learn from it.
“You’re never sure in a relationship. You wait for a chance every time that you will get to know someone… You can only hope the person that you’re with has integrity. It’s hard to find the right person, one that is trustworthy and will keep your private life, private.
“It takes a very special person to be in relationship with a sportsman. I know. It’s not an easy life. I travel so much… I haven’t found the right person yet, but it’s okay.”
Riding his boat into a pier that was underwater in February 2009 was his lowest point. “I was in a coma for a few days. When I woke up, there were broken bones in my face, I was almost dead… There were many newspaper stories – real tabloid junk. It had nothing to do with alcohol. The South African media is sometimes very sensational. There is little consideration for the truth. I don’t really do interviews in SA.
“If someone writes something about me that’s not true, I just open my little book and make notes… I know how much time I give to humanitarian work, how much to the people that are close to me. I know what kind of person I am. I don’t need to validate myself every five minutes.”
He spends four months a year in SA, and several months at his rustic house in Gemona, Italy, tucked “between the mountains” and complete with its own athletics track and gym.
“He has a glamorous lifestyle, but if you’re away from home for five, six months, you lose touch with what’s happening,” Aimée tells Sarie. “It’s hard not to have your family and friends close by.”
She admires her brother’s determination the most. “And the fact he is still the same person that I grew up with He is still accessible and good-hearted.”