Andrew O'Keefe was given an 18-month good behavior bail this week after being found guilty of assaulting a woman in 2021.
The troubled former Channel Seven star was faced with three charges over a number of incidents in 2021, including assault, breaching a domestic violence order and possession of the synthetic stimulant mephedrone.
It's just the latest in a long line of sad scandals for the 52-year-old former Deal or No Deal presenter, who was once one of Australia's most popular television presenters.
The former lawyer was once chairman of White Ribbon Australia, an organization dedicated to preventing violence against women, and was even made a Member of the Order of Australia for his extensive television and charity work.
Unfortunately, O'Keefe has fallen greatly out of public favor in recent years, spending time in prison and in several rehabilitation centers following a series of scandals.
From successful TV star to drug-addicted criminal: Sunrise presenter and former white ribbon advocate Andrew O'Keefe's shocking fall from grace when he is convicted of domestic violence. Pictured in August 2006 with two “briefcase girls” while hosting the afternoon game show “Deal or No Deal.”
Collapsed in the gutter after a night in Melbourne
In November 2008, The Herald Sun obtained video footage showing Andrew attempting to smoke a cigarette as he tripped and fell into a gutter.
The TV personality had enjoyed a boozy evening at Melbourne nightclub Revolver until the early hours of the morning.
In the clip, a blonde companion was seen trying to help him.
Seven soon went into damage control, releasing a statement insisting that O'Keefe was “a family man” and that he “never intended to intentionally offend anyone.”
In November 2008, The Herald Sun obtained video footage showing Andrew attempting to smoke a cigarette as he tripped and fell into a gutter
Erratic behavior while covering Schapelle Corby's return to Australia
O'Keefe exhibited rather unusual behavior while covering the return of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby to Australia on Weekend Sunrise in May 2017.
The former lawyer appeared tired during the live broadcast and at times his speech appeared slurred.
He struggled to find the right words, slumped in his chair and occasionally burst out laughing.
In the same year, O'Keefe was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his charity work, particularly as chairman of White Ribbon Australia.
O'Keefe exhibited rather unusual behavior while covering the return of convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby to Australia on Weekend Sunrise in May 2017
Assault allegations in 2021
In January 2021, O'Keefe was charged with repeatedly punching, kicking and spitting on his girlfriend, a doctor, over an ice pipe he was allegedly carrying at a party.
He appeared at Waverley Magistrates Court in Sydney on June 25 and was charged with three counts of assaulting his ex-lover of two years, Dr. Orly Lavee, charged.
Two of the charges made at her Randwick home were dismissed on mental health grounds – although his lawyers suggested he would otherwise have pleaded guilty.
A third charge of assault relating to an alleged incident in Kangaroo Valley earlier this year has been withdrawn by prosecutors.
The court heard that during his argument with Dr. Lavee was found to be in a “hypermanic” state at her home on January 30 after the couple attended a birthday party in Surry Hills.
Judge Ross Hudson found Mr O'Keefe remorseful and contrite.
Following the assault allegations, Channel Seven fired Andrew and replaced him as host of The Chase Australia with Larry Emdur.
In February, Seven confirmed he was no longer with the broadcaster and said it was “very concerned” about the allegations.
Then, in September of that year, O'Keefe pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence charge. At a court hearing, police had “extensive footage” from the night he allegedly assaulted a woman in a separate case.
During the confrontation, Mr. O'Keefe allegedly became aggressive, then spat at the woman and scratched his arm.
He then experienced dizziness and shortness of breath and was taken to hospital for evaluation but was later arrested. He spent the night at Surry Hills Police Station.
In January 2024 he was found guilty of the charge and sentenced to 18 months in prison under a community corrections order, which includes supervision and reporting requirements.
He was fined $800 for drug offenses.
2022 assault allegations
O'Keefe was indicted in January 2022 on allegations that he choked, punched and kicked a woman in his downtown bachelor pad.
Police alleged the former The Chase Australia presenter attacked the 38-year-old woman after meeting her to discuss starting a business together at his Kent Street apartment in Sydney's CBD.
Police alleged O'Keefe invited the woman to his apartment for a business meeting before the meeting turned violent.
“A verbal argument ensued between the two before the man allegedly attacked the woman, grabbing her by the neck, pushing her to the ground and punching her,” a police spokesman said.
O'Keefe was indicted in January 2022 on allegations that he choked, punched and kicked a woman in his downtown bachelor pad. Pictured leaving court on December 14, 2022
O'Keefe then allegedly attacked the woman a second time by punching and kicking her.
He was also charged with possession of 1.5 grams of cannabis.
O'Keefe denied all charges except drug possession and claimed he acted in self-defense.
At the time of the incident in January, O'Keefe was already out on bail following his arrest in September for another alleged assault.
2023 drug abuse allegations
O'Keefe was stopped by police on January 20, 2023 while driving his Mercedes C200 in Point Piper, an eastern suburb of Sydney.
A roadside breath test returned a positive result for methamphetamine, or “ice”, before O'Keefe was taken to Waverley Police Station for a second test, which also came back positive.
In December, O'Keefe avoided conviction after pleading guilty to driving with methamphetamine and violating his bail conditions.
During sentencing, Judge Miranda Moody said O'Keefe had since received a negative test result for illegal drugs and was being treated by a psychiatrist and psychologist.
In December 2023, O'Keefe avoided conviction after pleading guilty to driving with methamphetamine in his system and violating his bail conditions. Pictured leaving court on November 1, 2023
“To his credit he clearly had some problems with illicit drug use and I was provided with documentation of his drug use, or lack thereof,” Ms Moody told the court.
“None have been discovered for some time. I was also presented with a report from a psychologist and a psychiatrist. He is being treated.
“Given the tremendous work O’Keefe is doing related to his drug and health issues, I am prepared to not record a conviction.”
Instead, the judge sentenced O'Keefe to a 12-month release order.
2024 conviction for multiple crimes
On Wednesday, O'Keefe was found guilty of multiple domestic violence and drug charges.
Three charges were laid against the former broadcaster, including assault, breaching a domestic violence order and possession of 1.6g of the synthetic stimulant mephedrone, known as “Meow Meow”.
Judge Alison Viney found Wednesday that O'Keefe's actions of kicking, spitting, scratching and otherwise assaulting a woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
O'Keefe previously pleaded guilty to breaching a domestic violence arrest order and possession of cannabis, but denied further charges of assault and drug possession.
Ms Viney described his behavior in several incidents in September 2021 as “frightening and humiliating” to the victim and said her statements were consistent.
The court heard O'Keefe called the woman a “lying dog” and a “shit” and was accused of assaulting her on multiple occasions.
Previous charges against him were dismissed on mental health grounds following an incident in January 2021 in which he punched the woman and spit in her face.
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On Wednesday, O'Keefe was found guilty of multiple domestic violence and drug charges. Pictured leaving court on January 24, 2024