Pistorius dating model

09-Dec-2015 05:07

Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp was born in Cape Town on 19 August 1983 to horse trainer Barry Steenkamp and his second wife June, who was originally from Blackburn, England.The family later moved to Port Elizabeth, where Reeva completed a law degree at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.The 29-year-old had been dating Pistorius for three months and planned to tell him she loved him for the first time in his Valentine's Day card – but she never had the chance to see him open it.The athlete, known as 'Blade Runner', admitted to shooting his girlfriend but insists that he mistook her for a dangerous intruder.In court, Pistorius described Reeva as "a very good Christian" and said she would pray about "all the small things in life".She broke her back and was bedridden for two months during her final year at university."I think it made her realise that things can happen so quickly," says Smith, who was one of the first people to visit her in hospital after the accident.

Kerry Smith, a close friend from university, tells the BBC that Reeva was "more than just a pretty face, she had a beautiful heart and ambition".Smith says Reeva always had drive, spending much of her time reading books, but it was a horse riding accident that helped her come out of her shell.She became the face of Avon in South Africa, made the cover of FHM and starred in a television reality show called Tropika Island of Treasure – the last episode of which aired after her death.She had also applied to the Bar in 2011 and hoped to qualify as a legal advocate before she was 30.

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Reeva later moved to Johannesburg to further her modelling career.

Photographer Mark West, who worked with Reeva, said she had a "successful career" before her death and many people in the industry were "watching her with great expectation – you could see that Reeva was going places".