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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Andrew O’Keefe vows to defend domestic violence allegations

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Andrew O’Keefe has vowed to defend himself against domestic violence allegations after being accused of assaulting his doctor girlfriend.

Police will allege the TV host punched Orly Lavee in the face, punctured her lip, pulled her hair, kicked her legs and spat on her, according to the Daily Telegraph

A source close to O’Keefe told the publication that the 49-year-old was the one ‘receiving medical treatment in the wake of the incident’.

‘He will be defending the charge,’ the source said.

O’Keefe was charged with common assault relating to the alleged incident on Sunday morning at the Randwick home he shares with haematologist Dr Lavee.

At about 1am on Sunday, police were called to the $2million Randwick home he shared with Ms Lavee, a haemotologist. 

Police will allege TV host Andrew O'Keefe punched his doctor girlfriend Orly Lavee in the face, punctured her lower lip, pulled her hair and kicked her legs

Police will allege TV host Andrew O’Keefe punched his doctor girlfriend Orly Lavee in the face, punctured her lower lip, pulled her hair and kicked her legs 

A forlorn Dr Lavee broke cover on Monday after allegedly being assaulted by her boyfriend, TV presenter Andrew O'Keefe

A forlorn Dr Lavee broke cover on Monday after allegedly being assaulted by her boyfriend, TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe

A neighbour reported hearing a commotion. ‘He’s always very noisy,’ she said. ‘He’s got a very loud voice.’

O’Keefe was arrested at a nearby street some two-and-a-half hours after the alleged incident.

He was charged with common assault (domestic violence) and will face Waverly Local Court on Thursday, where he intends to fight the allegations.   

Police also slapped him with a provisional apprehended violence order on Dr Lavee’s behalf. 

Friends said the alleged ordeal had left Dr Lavee feeling ‘pretty ordinary’. 

Visibly tearful, the medical professional would only say from her home: ‘I really don’t want to talk about what’s happened.’ 

Police will allege O'Keefe punched Ms Lavee in the face and spat on her. The doctor said 'I really don't want to talk about what's happened' on Monday (pictured)

Police will allege O’Keefe punched Ms Lavee in the face and spat on her. The doctor said ‘I really don’t want to talk about what’s happened’ on Monday (pictured) 

Happier times: O'Keefe is seen out on the town getting pastries with Dr Lavee last September

Happier times: O’Keefe is seen out on the town getting pastries with Dr Lavee last September

The AVO conditions ban O’Keefe from contacting her, except via a lawyer, and also from assaulting, molesting, stalking, harassing or intimidating her. 

He is also prohibited from attending her workplace or her unit and intentionally or recklessly destroying any property in her possession.

The embattled presenter’s most recent short-term contract with Seven, as host of The Chase, expired at the end of last year.

TV insiders said his future with the station was up in the air prior to the alleged drama on the weekend.  

The Mail has established O’Keefe will continue appear on Seven as several episodes of The Chase have been filmed but haven’t been broadcast yet.  

A long-time industry source quipped that O’Keefe had ‘done well’ to hang in the TV business for as long as he has. 

Released on bail: Andrew, 49, was arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station in the early hours of Sunday morning, where he was charged

Released on bail: Andrew, 49, was arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station in the early hours of Sunday morning, where he was charged

He has spent some 17 years at the helm of shows such as Deal or No Deal and Weekend Sunrise and lately, The Chase.

Others were more blunt. ‘He’s gone,’ entertainment commentator Peter Ford tweeted on Monday.

The alleged ordeal came on the same day rumours were printed in a weekend newspaper that O’Keefe was being replaced on Seven by Rove McManus in 2021 following a lengthy battle with ‘exhaustion’. 

A Channel Seven spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday – before news broke of his arrest – that Andrew was a ‘valued member’ of the network family. 

‘Andrew O’Keefe has been a valued member of the Seven on-air family for many years and he continues to appear on air as host of The Chase Australia,’ she said. 

Familiar face: Andrew has been the host of the popular quiz show The Chase since 2015, but he has taken breaks from the network to deal with exhaustion in the past 18 months

Familiar face: Andrew has been the host of the popular quiz show The Chase since 2015, but he has taken breaks from the network to deal with exhaustion in the past 18 months

‘The speculation about his future and alleged replacements is baseless, ill-informed and wrong.’  

Andrew has been the host of the popular quiz show The Chase since 2015. 

He has had a number of breaks in the past 18 months in order to take care of some personal health issues.

The star separated from his wife Eleanor in late 2017. 

The former couple share three children: Barnaby, 15, Rory, 12, and Olivia, eight.

The star separated from his wife Eleanor in late 2017 and once did a stint in rehab

The star separated from his wife Eleanor in late 2017 and once did a stint in rehab

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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