Home Entertainment Troubled ex-TV star Andrew O’Keefe apologizes after bomb blast

Troubled ex-TV star Andrew O’Keefe apologizes after bomb blast


Former TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe admitted that he did not respect the judge during the dramatic trial.

The 50-year-old former presenter of The Chase Australia accused Magistrate Daniel Reyes of being “not interested in justice” during a bail hearing in Sydney Central Local Court last week.

Camera iconAndrew O’Keefe kept denying wrongdoing. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

“I want to apologize unconditionally,” Mr O’Keefe said on Thursday.

“My behavior last time was quite disrespectful to the court.

“I come from a family that has experience in the judiciary; my father was a judge, I know what hard work ”.

After Mr O’Keefe’s preliminary warning that his conduct could constitute contempt of court, Mr Reiss apologized and said there would be no further action.

Entertainment is provided by Andrew O'Keefe, host of The Chase
Camera iconAndrew O’Keefe led The Chase to success in the rankings, but after a series of scandals he was replaced by Larry Emdur. Credit: Channel 7

Mr O’Keefe has been in custody since January after police accused him of grabbing a former sex worker by the throat, hitting her and pushing her to the ground.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges, including intentionally strangling a person without consent, three counts of ordinary assault and one count of assault with grievous bodily harm.

A few weeks after his arrest, police filed another charge after 1.5 grams of marijuana were found in O’Keefe. He pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of a banned drug and has not yet been convicted.

Mr O’Keefe had previously claimed to have acted in self-defense and had himself been the victim of an attack. The woman, who police say was the victim, has not been charged with a felony.

Having secured a bed at a drug rehabilitation center in Port Stevens, Mr O’Keefe made his last application for bail on 4 May.

Waverley Court
Camera iconAttorney Sharon Ramsden (right) told Andrew O’Keefe to remain silent during the controversial bail release hearing, but he ignored her. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

That day, Mr O’Keefe interrupted him and shook his head in frustration when Mr Reyes told the court about the 50-year-old’s mental health and drug problems.

Despite numerous requests from his attorney, Sharon Ramsden, O’Keefe continued to swear at Mr. Reiss and refused to remain silent.

Mr Rice told the court that Mr O’Keefe had “significant attitude problems”.

“It’s not a problem of attitude, it’s a technical problem,” Mr. O’Keefe replied.

Waverley Court
Camera iconMr. O’Keefe spent more than three months in custody. NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper Credit: News Corp Australia

Mr O’Keefe told the police prosecutor to refute the allegations, as Mr Reiss warned him that he would “go back, speaking out”.

“It’s just not true, Your Lord,” Mr. O’Keefe said, raising his voice.

“I’m just getting the truth.”

Mr Reyes said the significant difference between previous bail applications was that Mr O’Keefe now had the opportunity to apply to a long-term rehabilitation center.

Andrew O’Keefe and Samantha Armitage at a Christmas party on Channel 7 Sunrise at Hard Rock Cafe on December 13th.  Photo: supplied
Camera iconMr. O’Keefe in happier times at a Sunrise Christmas party with his former Weekend Sunrise host Samantha Armitage. Supplied Credit: Supplied
Andrew O'Keefe is the host of the Chase Gameshow
Camera iconHe will fight to clear his name during a court hearing in September. Nicole Cleary Credit: News Corp Australia

He told the court he was “concerned” that Mr O’Keefe’s alleged crimes continued when he was already on subscription.

Erupting in anger, Mae O’Keefe said that “the alleged conduct, Your Lord, is not confirmed.”

“You are trying to sabotage your own bid,” Mr Reiss replied.

“I have dealt with many defendants, some of them psychotic and not as difficult with them as with you. Someone with a legal qualification and 10 warnings should know how to deal with this.

“You’re a lawyer, there are two sides to every story, you need to know that.”

Mr Reiss said Mr O’Keefe could not be “trusted to follow instructions”.

“I would be inclined to bet if it weren’t for Mr. O’Keefe’s prolonged behavior in court,” Mr Reiss said.

“Someone who has the qualifications of a lawyer and has been in court several times has had several warnings.”

Mr Reiss refused to release him on bail, saying he was unwilling to allow “unacceptable risk” of allowing Mr O’Keefe to remain in custody.

Andrew O'Keefe, host of the TV show
Camera iconMr. O’Keefe was thrown by Channel 7. Credit: Supplied

Mr O’Keefe said: “The transcript will say that I did not argue, I tried to help you, Your Lord.”

“You are not interested in justice,” Mr. O’Keefe continued before breaking out of the video link studio of the Don de Loas Correctional Center court.

After a successful 17-year partnership last year, Channel 7 dumped O’Keefe after a series of public scandals and personal clashes.

Before launching The Chase, Mr. O’Keefe spoke on Weekend Sunrise, Deal or No Deal, The Rich List and other special prime-time programs, including the Logie Awards.

He has been awarded the Order of Australia for his work in television and charity, including as a former ambassador for the White Ribbon Domestic Violence Organization.

After his last appearance in court, Mr O’Keefe no longer applied for bail, and his case returned to court in September for a hearing.


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