He snapped at her in public, throwing temper tantrums and ridiculing her for her accent.
She feared him, forever apologetic and strove to make him happy.
As the Oscar Pistorius trial sat for the 14th day on Monday, messages he exchanged with his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp were read out in court, highlighting a relationship beset with insecurity issues and emotional abuse.
“I’m scared of you sometimes. Of how you snap at me and react to me,” read a WhatsApp message Steenkamp sent her “boo” just over a month after they had started dating, and a couple of weeks before he shot her through a locked toilet door.
“I’m the girl who gets side-stepped when you are in a s**t mood. I get snapped at and told my accent and voices are annoying,” Steenkamp wrote in one of the messages read out by cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.
Another WhatsApp message read: “I can’t be attacked by outsiders for dating you and be attacked by you – the person who should protect me… the one person I deserve protection from. I do everything to make you happy… you do everything to throw tantrums.”
Moller said he conducted a “logical extraction” on iPhones, two BlackBerry phones, two iPads and a MacBook and from there he compiled a 10-page document of text messages Pistorius and Steenkamp exchanged. In one lengthy message, Steenkamp wrote about how upset she was to leave her friend’s engagement party early after Pistorius threw tantrums in front of other guests, accusing her of flirting with another man.
“I was not flirting with anyone today… I feel sick that you suggested it and that you made a scene at the table and made us leave (Darren Fresco’s engagement party) early. I am terribly disappointed at how the day ended… We are living in a double standards relationship.
“Every five seconds I hear how you dated another chick. I do everything to make you happy and not to rock the boat with you… You do everything to throw tantrums. I am so upset, I left Darren’s party. I am scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me…You make me happy 90 percent of the time. I am not some other girl… I am the girl who fell in love with you…”
As Moller read out this message Pistorius started sobbing in his hands in the dock.
In his WhatsApp response, Pistorius apologised for “the things I say without thinking and for taking offence to some of your actions”.
“The fact that I’m tired and sick isn’t an excuse. I was upset that you just left me after we got food to go talk to a guy and I was standing right behind you watching you touch his arm and ignore me and when I spoke up you introduced me which you could’ve done but when I left you just kept on chatting to him when clearly I was upset.”
Responding to that, Steenkamp said: “I’d like to believe I make you proud when I attend these kinds of functions with you. I present myself well and can converse with others”.
But one conversation put a dent on the model’s angelic image, with Steenkamp saying she “certainly have never been a prude” when Pistorius raised issues with her smoking dagga. “When you got back from Tropika (Island of Treasures) you made it sound like you had only smoked weed once and then last night that came out. I don’t know how many times you took other things or what you did when you were there,” wrote Pistorius.
Steenkamp’s response was “I’m sorry it upset u, it wasn’t my intention”.
Having told the court through his lawyers that he had never asked his friend Fresco to “take the rap” for him after discharging a firearm at Tashas restaurant in Melrose, a WhatsApp message he sent Steenkamp said the opposite.
Earlier in the trial, Fresco told the court how he had told management at the restaurant that he was the one to fire the gun, as Pistorius had begged him to take the blame to avoid bad publicity.
“Angel, please don’t say a thing to anyone.
“Darren told everyone it was his fault. I can’t afford for that to come out. The guys promised not to say a thing,” read the message.
Steenkamp jokingly said: “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” sealing her message with a smiley emoticon. She then sent another message thanking Pistorius for confiding in her.