Former Channel Seven game show host Andrew O’Keefe has had domestic violence charges against him dismissed on mental health grounds.
The 49-year-old appeared in Waverley Local Court on Friday, charged with assaulting his partner, Orly Lavee, at a home in Randwick in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in January.
The court heard Mr O’Keefe suffered from bipolar disorder and was in a “hypomanic” state during the incident, in which he admitted to spitting, slapping and kicking Dr Lavee.
The court was told a heated argument erupted between the couple at a birthday party in Surry Hills, after she accused him of having an ice pipe in his pocket.
He denied it and the argument continued at her Randwick home.
Magistrate Ross Hudson granted Mr O’Keefe’s application to have the matter dealt with under mental health legislation, and he dismissed two charges of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against him under the NSW Mental Health Act.
The magistrate took into account Mr O’Keefe’s mental illness, his remorse after the incident and evidence of rehabilitation.
“I agree with everything His Honour and the court said about the need to protect community and women in particular from domestic violence,” Mr O’Keefe said outside court.
“It’s a real shame that I ended up in this position.”
The magistrate ordered Mr O’Keefe to continue mental health treatment.
Another charge of common assault over a separate incident in Kangaroo Valley on January 20 was also dropped.
If you or anyone you know needs help:
- Lifeline on 131 114
- Medication Support & Recovery Service (MSRS) 1800 931 101
- DirectLine (24hrs) 1800 888 236
- Beyondblue on 1300 224 636
- Headspace on 1800 650 890
- ReachOut at au.reachout.com