Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, had her promising young life cut tragically short today after she was allegedly shot dead by the Paralympian at his mansion.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was about to embark on the next stage of her dynamic and varied career as a TV star when she was killed in what may have been a Valentine’s Day surprise that went horribly wrong.
She was shot in the head, the chest and the arm at around 4:00 a.m. this morning, South African police have said.
Oscar Pistorius, who reportedly may have mistaken her for a burglar, will appear in court charged with her murder later this morning.
Reeva Steenkamp’s publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, said the couple had been together for a “couple of months” in what had been a “healthy, fabulous relationship”.
Sarit Tomlinson told Sky News: “She was the sweetest human being and an absolute angel on earth. She was the kindest, most unbelievable girl.
“At the moment it’s shocking. No-one knows what’s happened. She was a rising star. There was so much in the pipeline for her: she was just about to explode into the media.
“She was a very talented, very bright young girl. It’s too shocking for words. It is a huge loss for everyone and our condolences go out to her family. It is about them right now.”
Just yesterday, Reeva Steenkamp spoke excitedly on Twitter about her plans for Valentine’s Day.
She said: “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay.”
Replying to a follower, Reeva Steenkamp later added: “That sounds amazing! Wow that’s what it’s all about! It should be a day of love for everyone 🙂 may it be blessed!”
Just last Sunday Reeva Steenkamp was quoted in a local newspaper as saying that Oscar Pistorius was “an impeccable man who always has her best interests at heart”.
And on February 1, Reeva Steenkamp tweeted to Oscar Pistorius telling him he was “beautiful”.
She wrote: “He certainly doesn’t need more followers but he’s beautiful to look at & says some smart stuff too ;)”
This weekend, Reeva Steenkamp was set to star in South African reality television series Tropika Island Of Treasure, in which celebrities and ordinary people compete in remote, exotic locations in a variety of daily challenges.
On the show’s website, a tribute to Reeva Steenkamp says: “We are deeply saddened and extend our condolences to Reeva’s family and friends.”
Reeva Steenkamp was born in Cape Town on August 19, 1983, and moved to Port Elizabeth as a child.
She graduated with a law degree, but made a dynamic career change after being scouted and named the first face of cosmetics giant Avon South Africa.
Reeva Steenkamp moved to Johannesburg six years ago and since then has travelled between the city and Cape Town to film and shoot some of South Africa’s leading campaigns and commercials.
Toyota, FHM, Clover and Italian brand Zui are some of the more prestigious clients she has worked for.
With a background in TV presenting – she was once the live roaming presenter for FashionTV in South Africa – Reeva Steenkamp had recently been working on some major projects that include smaller TV roles as well as a lead in a new reality TV show.
According to her Facebook page, Reeva Steenkamp had a passion for cars and cooking and prefers to read a book on her off days and spend quality time with friends and family.
She described herself on Twitter as “SA Model, FHM Cover Girl, Tropika Island of Treasure Celeb Contestant, Law Graduate, Ambassador, Child of God”.
Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp were first spotted at the South African Sports Awards last year.
At the time, she claimed she and Oscar Pistorius were just friends.
The Johannesburg-born sportsman was born without fibulas in his legs and had his limbs amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old.
But he has become one of the worlds’ most recognizable sportsmen. His trademark carbon-fibre running blades mean he revels in the moniker “the fastest man on no legs”.
Oscar Pistorius is first double amputee to run in the Olympics and to reach the 400 semi-finals in London 2012.
Perhaps due in part to his sudden financial and sporting success, Oscar Pistorius has a notoriously complex love life.
Before he got together with Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius had spent a year-and-a-half dating Cape Town marketing student Samantha Taylor.
But even while he was with Samantha Taylor, he was linked with numerous other women, including Russian model Anastassia Khozissova.
Oscar Pistorius was first seen with Reeva Steenkamp at an awards ceremony in South Africa last November. At the time, the FHM model said the pair were “just friends’.
But when it became clear that Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp were in fact dating, the sportsman’s then ex Samantha Taylor said: “Oscar has such a way with women. She’s probably not the only one he’s got.”
Samantha Taylor went on to tell South Africa’s City Press newspaper: “Oscar is certainly not what people think he is.”
Oscar Pistorius, 26, has a history of risk taking and also, reportedly, of violence.
In November last year, the sportsman reportedly “threatened to break the legs” of the friend of a man whom he believed had slept with his then girlfriend, who is not Reeva Steenkamp.
According to newspaper reports, Oscar Pistorius approached South African football player Marc Batchelor in the VIP room of a horse racing track and verbally threatened him.