Oscar Pistorius' lawyers are believed to be discussing a financial settlement with the parents of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp following his indictment for her murder this week.
If Pistorius is convicted of premeditated murder during his trial, which begins on March 3, the Blade Runner would likely face a large civil action payout to Steenkamp's family.
This week's talks between representatives of the Olympic and Paralympic athlete and lawyers for Barry and June Steenkamp are likely an attempt to reach an early settlement, according to the Times of South Africa.
Such an arrangement would mean the grief-stricken parents could potentially receive money more quickly, while Pistorius would be protected from what could be a civil award that has been estimated in the South African press at $300,000.
Reeva Steenkamp is understood to have financially supported her parents before her death, caused by shots fired by Pistorius at his home on February 14.
According to the Times, both sets of lawyers admitted that discussions were taking place between the parties – Steenkamp's lawyers told the Times the talks were "intense" – but declined to comment on their nature or content.
South African police believe they have a watertight murder case against the athlete and have named 107 potential witnesses to give evidence against him.
Pistorius not only comes from a wealthy family but also has accumulated enough money to fund a lavish lifestyle thanks to endorsement deals and appearance fees on the track.
It was reported two weeks ago that he was looking at purchasing an expensive Audi sports car, though the Pistorius family hastily put out a disclaimer insisting the reason for his visit to a dealership was to make a payment for his uncle.
The property where Steenkamp died is in the luxury Silver Woods development, one of the most desirable areas of the capital Pretoria, and is owned by Pistorius, though realtors are allegedly reluctant to sell it as they feel they could be struck with bad karma.
Pistorius, who had both his legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, was an incredibly popular figure on the track circuit thanks to his inspirational fight to be allowed to compete against able-bodied competitors.
Now though, his reputation lies in tatters in his homeland, even with the trial more than six months away.
By contrast, the Steenkamps have gained great sympathy. "We are grieving, missing our baby, our beautiful, beautiful daughter," June Steenkamp told reporters outside Monday's latest hearing, where the trial date was set.
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