Former TV host Andrew O’Keefe has been found guilty of assault (Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)
Andrew O’Keefe, 52, previously hosted the Australian versions of the two game shows, as well as the weekend edition of breakfast program Weekend Sunrise.
However, since 2021, he has appeared in court several times for drug and domestic violence offences.
He’s now been found guilty of common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of possessing a prohibited drug and contravening an apprehended violence order.
Appearing in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, O’Keefe was found guilty of all charges, which came after he’d tried to fight all except the AVO charge.
However, he became agitated in court when he was found guilty of assaulting the woman and spitting at her during a violent altercation at her home in September 2021, where they were isolating together under Covid-19 rules.
He hosted the Australian version of Deal or No Deal from 2003 until 2013 (Picture: Seven)
As reported by News.com.au, the former TV host ‘muttered angrily and scoffed’ while shaking his head as the magistrate delivered her decision.
The court heard O’Keefe had been staying with the woman, who cannot be identified, when an argument broke out after he insulted her child.
After the woman asked him to leave the house, the court was told he forcefully shoved her against a doorway, injuring her hand and wrist.
O’Keefe then lashed out at her, kicking her so hard in the thigh she fell to the ground.
He then held her down with his hands on her chest and said, ‘good riddance’, while she shouted for help, before going on to spit at her, which the victim described as ‘frightening and degrading’.
The former TV star also referred to her as a ‘lying dog’ and ‘c***’ during the assault.
He was also the host of The Chase from 2015 until 2021 (Picture: Channel 7)
A neighbour told the court she had heard O’Keefe being ‘aggressive and angry’ and later saw scratch marks all over the woman’s chest and noticed she was limping.
“It was the first thing I saw; she was really shaken … her voice, her body, she was in a lot of shock and fear at that stage,” the neighbour said.
Although O’Keefe told the court he believed the woman’s injuries were self-inflicted, the magistrate said he ‘constantly appeared to downplay his own actions’ while giving evidence.
She also remarked how the former White Ribbon ambassador had ‘denied getting angry with the woman at all’ during the exchange.
This claim was refuted by body worn footage and a witness account.
O’Keefe also co-hosted breakfast programme Weekend Sunrise (Picture: Channel 7)
The magistrate told O’Keefe his actions were ‘absolutely condemned’ by the court.
‘You treated (the woman) … with disrespect. Your actions were violent and degrading,’ she said.
‘You placed her in a position of fear, not only for herself but for her children in their own home.’
The court was told O’Keefe suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar affective disorder, for which he requires daily medication, which the magistrate said ‘may have contributed’ to his actions.
O’Keefe was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order and three 18-month community corrections order for the domestic violence offences.
He was also found guilty of being in possession of two illegal drugs, which were found in his apartment when he was arrested two days after the assault, for which he was convicted and fined $800 (£400).
He has said he will be appealing the judgment (Picture: AAPIMAGE)
After the court was told of O’Keefe’s ongoing struggle with drug addiction, the magistrate said it was clear it had ‘robbed him’ of his successful and high-profile media career and marriage.
She also added his rehabilitation was ‘an ongoing concern’ and he would need to be ‘vigilant to the warning bells’.
‘We may well see him back before the criminal justice system,’ she said.
Outside court, O’Keefe said he would be appealing the judgment.
Domestic abuse helpline
If you are in immediate danger call 999. If you cannot talk, dial 55 and the operator will respond.
For emotional support, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Alternatively, for practical and emotional support, please contact Women’s Aid Live Chat 10am – 6pm seven days a week.
You can also reach the National Centre for Domestic Violence on 0800 270 9070 or text NCDV to 60777.
For free and confidential advice and support for women in London affected by abuse, you can call Solace on 0808 802 5565 or email email@example.com.
Male victims of domestic abuse can call 01823 334244 to speak to ManKind, an initiative available for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence across the UK as well as their friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues and employers.
Alternatively, the Men’s Advice Line can be reached at 0808 8010327, or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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