New South WalesTelevision presenter will fight charge after alleged assault of partner in Sydneys eastern suburbs at weekend
Australian Associated Press
Seven Network presenter and former White Ribbon chairman Andrew OKeefe was not the aggressor in an alleged domestic assault and will fight the charge against him, his lawyer says.
New South Wales police allege the former Weekend Sunrise host assaulted his partner, haematologist Dr Orly Lavee, at an apartment in Randwick in Sydneys eastern suburbs on Sunday.
OKeefe did not appear in Waverley local court on Thursday when a magistrate adjourned his case. Outside court, his lawyer, Claudette Chua, said OKeefe would fight the one charge of common assault.
Chua said her client was not the aggressor in the situation. The defence lawyer said she sought an adjournment because OKeefe had been unable to give full instructions on such short notice.
Police say the assault occurred between 11pm and 11.30pm on 30 January. OKeefe was arrested on a nearby street about 3.30am. He was then taken to Maroubra police station and charged.
OKeefe, a former lawyer and son of ex-NSW supreme court judge Barry OKeefe, was a founding member of the domestic violence charity the White Ribbon Foundation, where he served as chairman in 2017. The organisation went into liquidation in 2019.
He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in 2017 for his service to television and charity work.
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White Ribbon relaunched in 2020 under new management. The new executive director, Brad Chilcott, said in a statement that the organisation was saddened to hear of the charge.
Andrew OKeefe has no role in this new chapter of White Ribbon Australia that has seen many changes to our approach and activities, including ending the ambassador program, Chilcott said. We stand in solidarity with every victim and survivor of mens violence against women, and believe men who use violence must be held to account.
OKeefe has been granted conditional bail. The case is scheduled to return to court on 18 February.
In Australia, the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the UK, call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visit Womens Aid. In the US, the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines may be found via