Television host Andrew O’Keefe has been an involuntary inpatient at a Sydney hospital since allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, a court has heard.
The 49-year-old was charged with common assault after NSW Police were called to a unit at Randwick, in the city’s eastern suburbs, in late January.
His lawyer, Kara Greiner, on Thursday handed a letter to Waverley Local Court indicating Mr O’Keefe is being treated at Prince of Wales Hospital.
Magistrate Ross Hudson, citing the letter, said Mr O’Keefe had been an involuntary patient there since January 30.
Ms Greiner told the court at the next hearing in April Mr O’Keefe would apply to have the matter dealt with under mental health legislation.
However, she agreed an “indicative” plea of guilty could be noted, in the event of the application failing.
“There’s a dispute as to the facts,” Ms Greiner said.
According to court documents, Mr O’Keefe allegedly assaulted haematologist Orlee Lavee.
He didn’t appear at the last court mention of the case two weeks ago.
After that mention, a different lawyer, Claudette Chua, told the media he was “not the aggressor” and claimed Dr Lavee would have “a lot to answer for”.
Mr O’Keefe has most recently hosted The Chase Australia on the Seven Network.
After he was arrested, a statement by Seven said the company was “very concerned” to read reports about the incident, given its 17-year relationship with Mr O’Keefe.
The statement said he was no longer with the network.
“The Chase Australia is not currently in production,” the statement, published at the beginning of February, said.
“Production will resume soon and a decision about who will host future series is still to be made.”
Mr O’Keefe was a co-founder of domestic violence charity White Ribbon.
The case will return to court on April 20.