Ex-Channel Seven host Andrew O’Keefe has been charged over allegations he choked, punched and kicked a potential business partner
A PR guru has leapt to the defence of Channel Seven star Andrew O’Keefe after he was hauled away kicking and screaming in a paddy wagon on Thursday afternoon – as police apply for a restraining order against the former Deal or No Deal host.
The 50-year-old, a former White Ribbon ambassador, was charged on Thursday over allegations he choked, punched and kicked a woman at his city centre bachelor pad.
NSW Police allege the star assaulted the 38-year-old woman after meeting her to discuss starting a business together at his unit on Kent Street in the Sydney CBD on Tuesday.
O’Keefe was pictured being led away to a police cell on Thursday, shouting that he is a ‘victim of crime’.
Police have since applied for a provisional apprehended violence order, which would see him barred from approaching, assaulting, threatening, stalking, harrassing or intimidating the woman in any way.
Meanwhile, a former colleague of O’Keefe criticised people ‘salivating’ over the game show host’s ‘fall from grace’ when he has well-documented personal issues.
Her post was reportedly liked by several high-profile TV presenters including Daniel Macpherson, Natalie Bassingthwaighte and Jessica Rowe.
A PR maven has leapt to the defence of Channel Seven star Andrew O’Keefe (pictured in 2019) after he was charged with allegedly choking and assaulting a woman in his Sydney apartment
A publicist who worked with the TV star in the past, posted a defence of O’Keefe to her Instagram page on Thursday through her private account.
‘Plenty of people salivating today over the ‘fall from grace’ of a TV star,’ she said.
‘Violence can never be condoned. But I know and adore the real him.
‘One of my favourite ever work colleagues. This isn’t who he actually is and really hope he gets through it.’
O’Keefe was refused bail on Thursday afternoon and taken away to a police cell, with Daily Mail Australia capturing confronting footage of the handcuffed star shouting obscenities and kicking the walls of a police van, telling officers to ‘get rid of the journalists’.
‘F*** you, I’m a victim of crime. I’m a victim of crime you f***wits. F*** off,’ he screamed as he repeatedly kicked the windows of the vehicle’s cell.
‘Get rid of these journalists you stupid c***s. F*** you.’
O’Keefe was led away in a police station wagon violently kicking and screaming he is a ‘victim of crime’ on Thursday afternoon (pictured)
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and grey long sleeve t-shirt, O’Keefe shouted obscenities and kicked the windows of the paddy wagon
O’Keefe is pictured in June 2021. He was charged over the incident on Sydney’s Kent Street and bail refused ahead of a court appearence on Friday
Police will allege O’Keefe had invited the woman over to his apartment in Sydney’s CBD on Tuesday afternoon to have a business discussion before the meeting turned violent.
‘A verbal argument ensued between the pair, before the man allegedly assaulted the woman – grabbing her by the throat, pushing her to the ground and punching her,’ a police spokesman said.
O’Keefe then allegedly assaulted the woman a second time by punching and kicking her.
The woman then left the unit and reported the alleged assault on Wednesday, police said.
On Thursday afternoon police confirmed they had charged O’Keefe with two counts of intentionally choking a person without consent, three counts of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
His AVO hearing will will be heard at Downing Centre Local Court on February 2.
‘F*** you, I’m a victim of crime. I’m a victim of crime you f***wits. F*** off,’ the TV star screamed as he repeatedly kicked the windows of the vehicle’s cell
Pictured: Day Street police station in the Sydney CBD, where O’Keefe was taken after his early-morning arrest on Thursday
A police spokesman added: ‘The man has been refused bail and is due to appear at Central Local Court on Friday.’
O’Keefe was arrested at his unit about 4.30am on Thursday and is being held at Day Street police station in the CBD.
Over a 17-year career with Seven, O’Keefe hosted Weekend Sunrise and game shows The Chase and Deal or No Deal – but was axed by the network last January.
When Daily Mail Australia approached O’Keefe last year and asked if his television career was over, he said: ‘I’m not sure if I’m over, or if TV’s over’.
O’Keefe was arrested by police at 4.30am on Thursday and taken to Day Street police station. He has since been charged and will face court on Friday
Andrew O’Keefe is pictured outside his unit in Paddington in Sydney’s inner-city in February 2021
The widely-recognised media personality and father-of-three was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to television in 2017.
His uncle was the legendary rock star Johnny O’Keefe, while the 50-year-old’s father Barry was a NSW Supreme Court justice.
In May of last year, the TV star auctioned off his Paddington apartment – which was listed on the market with an approximate value of $1.4 million.
The property ended up selling at auction for $731,000 on May 15, 2021, according to its Domain listing.
The Art Deco flat boasted two bedrooms, and a recently renovated bathroom.
O’Keefe and his wife Eleanor divorced in 2019. He made headlines that year for swatting a photographer away with a folder.
O’Keefe pictured in June 2021. He hosted Weekend Sunrise and The Chase during his 17-year career as a TV host with Channel Seven
O’Keefe divorced his wife Eleanor in 2019 (pictured at a red carpet event together several years ago)
In December 2017 – the year he separated from his wife – O’Keefe announced he had quit Weekend Sunrise to focus on his family.
He said in an official Seven statement ‘it was time to give the weekends back’ to Eleanor and their three children.
A former intellectual property lawyer, he was famously pictured kissing a mystery brunette during a night out in Hobart, Tasmania in 2018.
Video of the newly-separated TV personality kissing the unknown woman was published in September of that year by Woman’s Day.
Andrew O’Keefe’s uncle was the legendary rock star Johnny O’Keefe (pictured above)
O’Keefe was famously filmed kissing a mystery brunette woman during a night out in Hobart, Tasmania in 2018. A friend captioned the image as ‘deal or no deal’
The magazine reported the footage was filmed while O’Keefe was ‘partying for 48 hours’.
An unnamed 21-year-old university student, who was alleged to be the woman in the video, was also quoted in the publication.
Describing what happened before the kiss, she said: ‘I went over to say ‘hi’ to some friends [O’Keefe] was sitting with, and I put my arm around him for a photo.’
The video’s caption read, ‘Deal or no deal?’, a reference to the game show Andrew hosted between 2003 and 2013 on Seven.