Former TV host Andrew O’Keefe has been released on bail but will have to undergo weekly drug tests after allegedly breaching his strict conditions.
The 51-year-old was granted strict conditional bail in the NSW Supreme Court in May and was sent to a long-term residential rehabilitation center in the Hunter region of the state.
However, he was picked up by police on Thursday morning at his home in Vaucluse and arrested after allegedly failing a drug test.
O’Keefe faced Waverley Local Court on Thursday afternoon, where prosecutors requested that his bond be revoked.
But the former TV host was released by magistrate Jacqueline Milledge on the additional condition that he undergo weekly drug tests.
“Officers from the eastern suburbs police zone command visited a house in Vaucluse and spoke to the occupier,” a police statement said.
He had been out of jail for six months after Judge Robert Hulme agreed the former TV host needed treatment for “his long-standing drug and mental health issues which appear to be, in a to a large extent, related to trauma”.
“Mr. O’Keefe experienced a significant descent into an erratic and chaotic lifestyle, which is foreign to what he experienced into middle age,” he said during the interview. bail hearing in May.
O’Keefe has been remanded in custody for nearly five months after being charged with choking and assaulting a woman on January 25.
Police allege O’Keefe grabbed a 38-year-old woman by the throat before pushing her to the ground and punching her.
The pair are believed to have previously met when the woman was a sex worker and the court had previously heard that O’Keefe had used her for sexual services before the pair developed a friendship.
O’Keefe claims he acted in self-defense.
Police allege he and the woman began to argue after he called a $20,000 debt and she asked for more money to advance a business she wanted to start.
At a previous hearing, O’Keefe’s defense attorney claimed the woman grabbed a cricket bat and scissors before they began to attack him and he was forced to defend himself for attempt to “distract and disarm” it.
O’Keefe has pleaded not guilty and will face a hearing in the new year.
The legal battles follow a successful life in the public eye as a television presenter and host of popular game show The Chase Australia.
For 17 years, O’Keefe appeared as the face of many programs on Channel 7, including Weekend Sunrise and Deal or No Deal.
He was one of the founders of the organization White Ribbon Australia dedicated to preventing violence against women and served on the National Council for the Prevention of Violence against Women.
In 2011, O’Keefe said he felt compelled to work with the White Ribbon due to high rates of violence against women.
“I couldn’t just sit back and not get involved,” he said at the time.
“There are all sorts of very simple ways you can demonstrate change in your own life…You can model behavior for your children, such as how to engage in disagreements with women without resorting to violence .”
He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2017 for his charity work and achievements in television.
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