Despite his promises Oscar was his old self
By Melinda Ferguson and Patricia Taylor
Oscar: An Accident Waiting to Happen is the story of ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor’s tumultuous romantic relationship with the athlete as told by Sam’s mother, Patricia Taylor.
As part of their plan to rekindle their romance, Oscar invited Sammy to the Seychelles with him on a trip that would be filmed by the glamorous show, Top Billing. Sammy was very excited. I think she was still really hoping that this time round things would be different. Before they left, Oscar e-mailed Peet, his manager, from my computer. He obviously forgot about it and didn’t delete the correspondence from the system. I only saw the e-mail after they had gone. It had a copy of Sam’s passport for purposes of booking the ticket and along with that, it said something like: “It looks like the s**t is sorted out.”
That’s how he referred to all the trauma and heartache that had happened between him and my daughter. I wanted to hurl; after all he had put my beautiful little girl through and after all he had put my family through, how could he minimise everything into those few heartless words?
Did he have no feelings, no humanity, no conscience whatsoever?
Were all those tears of remorse for real, I wondered, or had he just been switching it on? Were we all just pawns being manipulated in the game of keeping Oscar happy so that the money-making machine remained well-oiled?
I then knew in my bones that nothing was actually going to change, that none of what he had promised, none of his new resolutions were real… I knew it was just a matter of time before there would be the next blow-up.
I think Sammy sensed it too. Although she had a wonderful time in the Seychelles – the hotels, the beaches, the gorgeous sunsets – the realities of the betrayals in the relationship hung heavy, leaving a mark over everything.
Oscar could not get his head around the fact that Sammy had dated another man, let alone gone on a trip to Dubai with him while he was struggling in London.
And Sammy was haunted by the Russian, as well as Oscar’s string of other women. In retrospect I suppose we were all naive to have hoped they would both be able to just move on into a rosy future and forgive and forget.
When they returned to South Africa, it was blatantly obvious that he was not going to keep any of his great promises to change. I think she began to regret deeply that she had given him another chance, and I was getting more and more angry that he hadn’t complied with my demand that he should engage in therapy.
But, of course it wasn’t all bad. There were moments of camaraderie and shared laughter along the way. We still enjoyed our early-morning chats and cups of tea when he stayed over at the house. We had a few good early-morning laughs about one of the commentators during the Olympics who loved Oscar – he used to rave about South Africa and he always told his viewers to get a cup of “rooibosch” tea before Oscar ran – so we drank our “rooibosch” and laughed and joked about it. Oz and I shared the same silly sense of humour, and above and beyond the dramas, we did have many good laughs together.
Now that he was back, aware of the huge amounts of money the Olympics had generated for Brand Oscar, he was aching to get himself a new set of wheels. Every year he bought himself a new car for his birthday in November and with all that had happened in London, he decided to really spoil himself after the Olympics.
So he bought himself a new motorbike and a Jeep, customised to his specifications, which he had bought prior to the Olympics.
Then of course he was waiting for the McLaren that he had ordered. He was beyond excited about the super car.
Sam didn’t like bikes so when he travelled on the bike, she rode in the Jeep to meet him – besides he always drove too fast for her. He loved going between Joburg and Pretoria on the bike. This was one of the things that didn’t make sense to me – if he was so scared of being attacked and was always carrying a gun with him because he felt so threatened, surely he would feel much more vulnerable on a bike?
I saw the old Oscar back in full force when sometime towards the end of September our whole family was up in Joburg to attend a 21st birthday of a family friend in Blair Athol. Sammy invited Oscar to come along but he told her he was out with the boys riding cars, so we went ahead without him. The party was in full swing – we had been there for hours already – when he finally pitched up with a group of uninvited friends in tow.
I immediately felt uncomfortable; it was a closed party, these were good friends of ours and suddenly there was a bunch of uninvited guests in their house.
Oscar was very edgy that night; it was clear he was hyped up and stressed about something and it made me feel uncomfortable just looking at him. As hard as I tried to relax, I developed a knot in my stomach that just wouldn’t go away. I could sense he was up to no good again.
Being a well-known face, especially with the Olympics so fresh in people’s minds still, a lot of people at the party were clearly impressed he was there and began asking him for autographs. I wondered if that was what was making him so tense and upsetting him.
When Oscar decided to leave, he told Sam he was going home to sleep and Sam left soon thereafter to sleep at a girlfriend’s house.
When we left, I had a weird feeling that something just didn’t feel right. He had made all these promises to be the best boyfriend ever, had sworn he would turn over a new leaf, he was now supposedly trying to be committed and transparent; if they were truly a couple and they had made all these resolutions, why wasn’t he taking Sam home with him? I found the whole situation very odd. It looked like all his old behaviour was back.
The next morning I called Sam early, expecting her to be with her friend, but I was surprised to find out she was with Oscar at his friend’s house. So it turned out no one had gone home that night after the 21st.
Somehow Sammy and her friend found out that Oscar and all his friends had gone to a club. So being girls and egging each other on, they decided to go and see what he was up to.
They walked in and found Oscar deep in conversation with some girl. Sammy’s friend, suspecting the worst, marched up to them, stood between Oscar and the girl and began shouting at him.
“Who do you think you are? I have your girlfriend here…Who the f*** do you think you are, lying to us, telling us you were going home to sleep and instead you came out here…? What do you think you are doing!”
I think Oscar was caught so off-guard by this he didn’t know what to say. His immediate response was that he was just chatting to some girl who wanted his autograph. But Sam’s friend was having none of it. She just let rip.
“I don’t f***ing care, why do you lie to us? You have a girlfriend, what’s wrong with you?” She wouldn’t listen to a word he was saying, she just kept on letting him have it. Oscar was furious. He stormed off into the VIP area and told the girls they weren’t allowed to go there as they were embarrassing him. But Sam knew the owner of the club and she easily got into the VIP area without Oscar’s permission.
Sam now decided to let Oscar have a piece of her mind.
She told him she was sick of him and their whole relationship.
He told her she and her friend had ruined his reputation for life and hugely embarrassed him. The girls decided to call it a night and went home.
Just as they got in, Sam got a call from Oscar who begged Sam to go over and spend the rest of the night with him at his friend’s house.
They both cried, kissed and made up. He was still furious with Sam’s friend though, and vowed that she would never be allowed to set foot in his space again.
In a few weeks it would be their birthdays on November 22, and he told Sam in no uncertain terms that they could not have a combined party as they had planned. He laid the blame squarely on Sam’s friend, saying it was all her fault as he couldn’t have her anywhere near his celebrations.
After all of this, within weeks of Oscar’s return, I just had this really bad aftertaste left in my mouth.
The old Oscar was back in full force.
* This is an extract from Oscar, An Accident Waiting to Happen, by Melinda Ferguson and Patricia Taylor, published by MF Books at a recommended retail price of R195.