American athlete and former Dancing With The Stars contestant Lolo Jones says that she feels sympathy towards convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius, this being because her own father was arrested for homicide many years ago. The former Olympian gave a statement to a TMZ photographer while making her way through LAX on Thursday, Oct. 23.
When the photographer in question asked Jones her opinion regarding the recent five-year sentence awarded to Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, she said she felt for the South African spring runner, as she knew the pain he and his family were going through due to the lengthy trial and the emotional turmoil it has caused. Although she admitted to not following the trial religiously, she was aware of the happenings from start to finish, and said that the case really hit home with her in regard to her own personal experiences. The 32-year-old confessed to having been through the same events with her own father, who was imprisoned on charges of homicide some time ago. He has since been released on good behavior, Jones went on to say, but things never quite returned to normal for their family in the aftermath of the trial and sentencing.
The Iowa native says she believes she is one of the most non-judgmental persons when it comes to someone who has committed a crime or is going through that type of media attention, because she and her family went through it alongside her father when everything went down back in the day. Jones goes on to state her view that there are always two sides to a criminal event, the side of the individual who committed the offense, and also the side of the convicted and their loved ones. She states that the loved ones’ feelings and heartbreak are often passed over in the wake of the tragedy committed against the loved ones of the deceased or injured via the offender themselves, and for this she says she feels sympathy for the family and friends of the one who committed the crime. She finishes her interview by saying that the matter is now in God’s hands, and that she once again cannot pass judgement on the legitimacy of Pistorius’ sentence time as she does not know all the details and therefore it would be inappropriate.
At the beginning of the interview, Jones was asked whether or not she had moved on emotionally following her exit from Dancing With The Stars, which became a very public affair shortly after her elimination. She almost immediately took to social media following her ousting, expressing her grief at being eliminated and stating that it brought back horrific memories of her Olympic failure and how people mocked her afterwards. One of the show’s judge’s, controversial fan favorite Bruno Tonioli, gave an interview shortly following the event in which he voiced his opinion that the woman needed to get over her dismissal from the show and move on. He went on to say that even though she did her best, things happen in a competition and nothing could come from Jones being upset at her time on the show being cut as short as it was.
While Lolo Jones would not give any specific comment regarding her feelings on Oscar Pistorius’ jail sentence, the athlete has expressed her condolences towards the family in their grief and explained how the situation has brought back personal memories of her own family’s misfortune. She remains adamant that each side is as worthy of compassion as the other, and that she will be keeping both in her prayers.
By Rebecca Grace