Details on Friday emerged of the 49-year-old’s argument with then-girlfriend Orly Lavee after she believed he was carrying an ice pipe, Waverley Local Court was on told.
The former Seven Network presenter shoved Lavee to the ground on January 31 at her Randwick home, after they attended a party together in Surry Hills.
The couple were arguing after Lavee thought she felt the drug pipe down his pants pocket, but he denied this and was told “to go and never come back,” according to the facts of the case.
“The relationship meant nothing to me,” Lavee said at the time.
“That’s a real spit in the face,” O’Keefe responded before he spat on her face.
Magistrate Ross Hudson said there was clear evidence of longstanding bipolar disorder and that O’Keefe was in a hyper manic state at the time of offending.
Outside court O’Keefe thanked the magistrate for managing the balancing act well and agreed there was a strong need to protect the community against domestic violence offending.
The former Weekend Sunrise host earlier indicated if the mental health application failed he would plead guilty to two charges of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, while another charge was withdrawn and dismissed.
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.
White Ribbon has distanced itself from O’Keefe since his arrest.
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