Regardless of whether Oscar Pistorius has been taking acting lessons to stand trial, his lawyer's theatrics have him covered. Pistorius' defense lawyer, Barry Roux, has been called a "legal gun for hire," and his antics have been likened to, um, clubbing a baby seal to death. Only in this case, instead of a seal, Roux is attacking witnesses, and instead of using a club, Roux is performing legal jujitsu.
If Gerrie Nel is a pitt bull, Barry Roux is a rottweiler, one made all the more terrifying by his sudden transformations from meek confusion to pointed aggression. While Gerrie Nel has received the majority of the legal spotlight for the past few weeks of the Oscar Pistorius trial, it's time to take a look at Barry Roux, the star of Part I of the ongoing Pistorius saga.
1. He likes confusing people
As Lucy Thornton of the Daily Mail wrote, Roux “goes from bumbling poodle to snarling rottweiler in seconds" when describing his techniques. Often perceived as harmless and even bewildered in the first few moments of witness questioning, Roux spends an agonizing amount of time simply flipping through his notes, beginning and then failing to finish a question, as though he is perpetually second-guessing himself.
But just when his witness begins to relax, or worse yet, doubt Roux's ability, he springs into attack, reducing witnesses to tears and utter confusion. He is known for repeating the same question multiple times, never seeming to be completely satisfied with the answer, and sounding increasingly exasperated or sarcastic with each iteration.
After his questioning of Hilton Botha, the former lead detective on the Pistorius case, Botha was left perspiring profusely, and ended his testimony with, "I don't have any facts!" Botha, in fact, was the man who inspired the clubbing-of-the-baby-seal comparison, and has resigned from the police force.
2. He has an unmistakable signature phrase
And that phrase is "I put it to you." Not to be confused with similar sounding phrases like "I give it to you" or "I pull it from you," Roux's favorite line is more designed to emphasize a point. For example, "I put it to you that Oscar kicked the door so high because he has had chorus line training." No, he didn't actually say that, but Roux's trademark expression has garnered the attention of quite a few meme-makers, who have had their fun with Barry "I put it to you" Roux, mostly at the expense of Oscar Pistorius.
Another popular meme bears the question, "What if I put it to you that my dog barks like a cat when it's nervous," which references Roux's argument that the screams heard the night of Reeva Steenkamp's death were not those of a woman, but rather those of a very distressed Pistorius.
3. His popularity has resulted in parody
Despite the incredibly tragic nature of the case, Barry Roux has been the source of great entertainment for parody-makers everywhere. Not only have his memes gained considerable popularity, but Roux has also inspired a few hit songs. The "Barry Roux Parody Song" by Producer Brad has garnered nearly 250,000 views on YouTube, and is quite excellent and accurate in describing the lawyer's techniques. The chorus goes, “I put it to you, that it’s true / Everything you say, I will misconstrue / I’m Barry Roux and I put it to you / Ten times in a row just to confuse you.”
Equally popular has been "Because I'm Barry," set to the tune of Pharrell Williams' "Happy." The chorus of this song goes, "Because I'm Barry / Come along if you feel like mixing it with the Roux / Because I'm Barry / Come along if you feel like innocence is the truth / Because I'm Barry / Come along if you really want me to put it to you." This song, created by the Roger Goode Radio Show, boasts over 42,000 plays on Soundcloud, and has met with extremely enthusiastic comments from its listeners.
4. He's not working alone on the Pistorius case
Oscar Pistorius' legal team is like the lawyer version of the Avengers. Well, two Avengers, take your pick of which ones. Barry Roux is joined by Kenny Oldwadge, a man who is no stranger to the Pistorius family. And moreover, the Pistorius family is no stranger to courtrooms, as it turns out. Oldwadge was the successful defense attorney for Oscar Pistorius' brother, Carl Pistorius, when he was charged with culpable homicide.
Ironically, a culpable homicide conviction would be the best case scenario for Oscar Pistorius. Oldwadge also managed an acquittal for the man who killed Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter in a car accident, and is currently defending Mandela's grandson in an assault case.
5. He and Gerrie Nel have crossed paths before
In his 31 years of experience, Roux has dealt with several high-profile cases and faced several equally high-profile lawyers. And one of those high-profile lawyers was Gerrie Nel, who prosecuted another one of Roux's clients, a dentist named Casper Greef, who was convicted of murdering his wife. If history is to repeat itself, it will be bad news for Pistorius.
But Roux wasn't always a defense lawyer. In fact, he began his career as a prosecutor, and was involved in the prosecution mining tycoon Roger Kebble on tax evasion charges. For the past several years, however, Roux has made a name for himself as one of the best defense attorneys in the country, with Oscar Pistorius as the most famous of a growing list of clients.