Andrew O'Keefe an involuntary patient in hospital since allegedly assaulting girlfriend: court
A court has heard television host Andrew O’Keefe has been an involuntary patient in hospital since allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.
Waverley Local Court also heard on Thursday Mr O’Keefe remains an “involuntary” patient at the Prince of Wales Hospital almost three weeks since the incident at girlfriend Dr Orly Lavee’s home in Sydney’s east.
A hearing has been set for April to deal with his charge of common assault under the mental health act where his lawyer will argue the charge should be dismissed.
His lawyer, Kara Greiner, told the court she could indicate pleas of guilty and asked for a six week adjournment to prepare supporting materials for the hearing.
“I can’t formally (enter pleas) as there is a dispute as to the facts,” she said.
It comes as an about face after Mr O’Keefe’s former lawyer Claudette Chua told reporters he would defend the allegations.
Ms Greiner tendered a medical letter that excused the troubled TV star from appearing, as the court heard he had been held in hospital since the day of his arrest on January 31.
The former The Chase Australia and Deal or No Deal host, 49, was arrested in Randwick at 3.30am that morning, about four hours police allege he assaulted Dr Lavee in her nearby apartment.
The father of three, who lives in Paddington, was charged with one count of common assault and released on bail.
An apprehended domestic violence order was also taken out on behalf of haematologist Dr Lavee, 41.
At the first court mention his previous lawyer Ms Chua told media outside that Dr Lavee’s claims would be contested.
A hearing date has been set for April 20, when Mr O’Keefe could be sentenced.
Mr O’Keefe, the former chair of domestic violence charity White Ribbon, is himself a former lawyer and son of an ex-NSW Supreme Court justice.
In 2017, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his charity and television work.
Channel 7 revealed after his arrest that Mr O‘Keefe, a long-time personality at the network and former host of Weekend Sunrise, was no longer working for the station.
In a statement the network said his employment had ended before the charge was laid on January 31.
“Seven has had a 17-year relationship with Andrew across a number of programs, although he is no longer with the network,” it said.
The star is understood to have been battling mental health issues for a decade along with repeated admissions to rehabilitation clinics.