Andrew O’Keefe, moderator of Seven Network and former chairman of White Ribbon, was “not the assailant” in a suspected domestic attack and will fight charges against him, his attorney says.
Police will claim the former Weekend Sunrise host attacked his partner, hematologist Orly Lavee, at an apartment in Randwick, east Sydney, on Sunday.
O’Keefe failed to appear in Waverley District Court Thursday when a judge adjourned his case.
In court, his attorney Claudette Chua said O’Keefe would fight the charges.
“I have had an opportunity to look into the matter and I will say this: Mr. O’Keefe was certainly not the assailant in the situation and Dr. Lavee will have a lot to answer for,” said Ms. Chua.
Ms. Chua said she requested an adjournment because O’Keefe “was unable to give full instructions at such short notice.”
According to the police, the attack occurred on January 30 between 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm. O’Keefe was arrested on a nearby street around 3:30 a.m.
He was then taken to Maroubra Police Station and charged.
O’Keefe, a former attorney and son of former NSW Supreme Court Justice Barry O’Keefe, was a founding member of the domestic violence charity, the White Ribbon Foundation, of which he served as chair in 2017. The organization was liquidated in 2019.
He was named a Fellow of the Order of Australia in 2017 for his television service and charity work.
O’Keefe was given conditional bail. The case will be heard next on February 18.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Australian Associated Press