Today the prosecution rested its case in the trial of South African Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, 29, on Valentine’s Day 2013.
Steenkamp, a model, was found shot several times through the locked bathroom door in Pistorius’ home; he claimed that he accidentally shot her, thinking she was a burglar. Police had previously responded to “allegations of a domestic nature” at Pistorius’ home and on the night of her death, neighbors said they had heard gunshots and screams from both a man and a woman prior to the shooting. Pistorius, who is 27, has entered a plea of not guilty.
Text messages from WhatsApp between the couple were submitted as evidence and despite plenty of messages of a loving nature, they show that three weeks before her murder she was telling him “I’m scared of you sometimes” while detailing controlling and mean behavior. Keep reading »
Florida’s State Attorney is pursuing 60 years behind bars for Marissa Alexander, a Black woman who fired a “warning shot” in the direction of her estranged husband and his two kids.
In August 2010, Alexander’s husband allegedly read messages from her ex on her cell phone and got so enraged that he strangled her neck and threatened to kill her. She grabbed a gun from the garage, where she was stuck inside, and fired a “warning shot” into the air, near where his kids were standing. She did not injure or kill anyone yet she was unsuccessfully able to argue the Stand Your Ground law. An appeals court threw out the case and in November, Marissa was released on bond from her 20-year conviction. Now, State Attorney Angela Corey is seeking 60 years — three times the original sentence — as punishment. Keep reading »
“The Vagina Monologues” playwright Eve Ensler has been speaking out about violence against women and girls with her V-Day movement for years. But she took things to a whole new level on February 14 of last year: One Billion Rising, her call to action that made headlines all over the world and even prompted celebrities like Anne Hathaway to speak out about gender-based violence. The premise was simple: on February 14, all over the world, women and men were asked to stop what they were doing and dance in the name of ending violence against women. Last year, one billion people “rose and shook the earth” through dance to strike back against the startling UN statistic that 1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. One Billion Rising will be back in 2014 for a second round, and we are all invited to participate. This year, Ensler is screening a short film she created with Tony Stroebel about last year’s movement. “One Billion Rising” will be available to watch online on January 19, the same day it’s set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival. The film compiled footage of One Billion Rising from all over the world, and was put together with contributions of filmmakers from 207 countries. Check out the trailer and share it with everyone you know so we can make this year’s movement even bigger.
Calling himself only “Jean Paul,” the photographer who snapped over 1,000 photos over 27 minutes of Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson during their now-infamous lunch in London on June 9 is interviewed in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. “I saw her lurch violently backwards,” the paparazzo told the magazine about the incident. “I thought Charles was demonstrating something. It lasted about 30 seconds. Then he did it a second time, and it was so violent, with such force, that her head snapped backwards … I was taking pictures the whole time.” Keep reading »
Earlier this month, 20-year-old Alisha Hessler went out clubbing with two male friends, who brought a third male friend with them. At some point in the evening, when that guy tried to reach up Hessler’s skirt, she slapped him. He, in turn, beat her so badly that she suffered a concision and a broken nose. Hessler went to the hospital and filed a police report, but before officially filing charges against her attacker, she gave him a choice. Either he would be arrested and likely face charges for beating her or he could opt to stand in the middle of a busy Tampa intersection for either hours, wearing a dunce cap and holding a sign that read “I BEAT WOMAN. HONK IF I’M A SCUMBAG.” He chose the latter. (Apparently, Hessler originally wanted to the dickbag to sign a waiver allowing her to beat him for 10 minutes, but friends talked her out of it, given that, waiver or not, beating someone senseless, even if they hit you first, is illegal.) Keep reading »
This summer, George Zimmerman was acquitted in the murder of Travyon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed Black teenager. Last month, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, battery domestic violence, and criminal mischief after he allegedly pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend. Yesterday, Zimmerman submitted a signed affadavit from Samantha Scheibe stating she does not want him charged and requesting contact with each other.
Scheibe called 911 outside her Florida home after an argument with Zimmeran during which she asked him to leave. He allegedly pointed a shotgun at her “for a minute,” smashed a table, and then shoved her out her front door and barricaded it with furniture. She can be heard on the call yelling at him while some of this is allegedly happening. (He made a 911 call of his own while she was talking to police, claiming Scheibe was “going crazy on me.”) Scheibe also told police that Zimmerman had choked her during an argument recently, but she had not reported it. Zimmerman was released on bail under the condition that he not possess any weapons. Keep reading »
On November 18, a 23-year-old woman in St. Louis, Missouri, was punched in the face. She told police she was ambushed late at night while she and her boyfriend were picking up a drunk friend from a bar and punched as part of what’s been called the “knockout game.”
The “knockout game,” in case your grandmother has not been emailing you repeatedly about it, is an alleged game teens are playing in which they attack random folks on the street and knock them out. The woman appeared on KMOV local news, describing the alleged attack and discussing how she had a double fracture of the bone under her eye and needed reconstructive surgery.
Now the woman has admitted it was all a lie. Ashley DePew, 23, was actually punched in the face by her boyfriend, Justin Simms, 25. Keep reading »
Earlier today in a UK court, TV chef Nigella Lawson took the stand to tell her side of the story about how those photos of ex-husband Charles Saatchi strangling her outside of Scott’s restaurant came to be. Oh, and to defend herself against the charge that she’s a major cokehead and that he wasn’t strangling her, but rather”removing drugs from her nose.” Because…that’s how it’s done? During his testimony, Saatchi changed his tale, telling the court that he “was not gripping, strangling or throttling her,” he “was holding her head by the neck to make her focus.” Yeah, still not working for me.
If that weren’t enough to deal with, Nigella’s former assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, were accused of racking up more than $1 million in charges on the couple’s credit card. Defense lawyers for the former employees have suggested that Nigella gave them free run to use the credit card in return for their silence about her drug habit. Well, it’s finally Nigella’s turn to speak. After the jump, some of the key parts of her testimony. Keep reading »