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TV personality to fight domestic violence charge, says he was victim

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Seven Network presenter and former White Ribbon chairman Andrew O’Keefe will fight a domestic violence charge and claim he was the victim, his lawyer has vowed.

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O’Keefe was arrested early on Sunday morning and charged over an alleged domestic assault.

Police will allege the former Weekend Sunrise host assaulted his partner, haematologist Orly Lavee, at an apartment in Randwick in Sydney’s east on Sunday.

A judge at Waverley Court adjourned the case on Thursday. O’Keefe did not appear.

Outside court, his lawyer Claudette Chua said O’Keefe would be fighting the charge.

“I have had an opportunity to review the facts of the matter and I will say this: Mr O’Keefe was certainly not the aggressor in the situation and Dr Lavee will have a lot to answer for,” Chua said.

Chua said she sought an adjournment because O’Keefe had been “unable to give full instructions on such short notice”.

Police say the assault occurred between 11pm and 11.30pm on January 30. O’Keefe was arrested on a nearby street about 3.30am.

He was then taken to Maroubra police station and charged.

O’Keefe, a former lawyer and son of former NSW Supreme Court judge Barry O’Keefe, 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.

O’Keefe has been granted conditional bail. The case will next be heard on February 18.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

-AAP

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