TV host Andrew O’Keefe is warned by a magistrate after an outburst in court


Former TV star Andrew O’Keefe has been warned he could be found in contempt of court after telling a magistrate he had ‘no interest in justice’.

Australia’s former game show host Andrew O’Keefe has yelled at a magistrate, saying he has ‘no interest in justice’ and was threatened with contempt of court after he was again denied bail bail.

The 50-year-old appeared visibly distressed and frustrated as he faced Sydney Central Local Court on Wednesday afternoon via AVL from Dawn Correctional Center in Loas.

Mr O’Keefe was charged with six counts in January after police alleged he grabbed a woman by the throat, punched her and pushed her to the ground.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges, including intentionally choking a person without their consent, three counts of common assault and one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Within weeks of the arrest, police brought a new charge after finding Mr O’Keefe with 1.5g of marijuana. He pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited drug and has not yet been convicted.

Through his lawyers, Mr O’Keefe has previously claimed he was acting in self-defence and had himself been the victim of an assault. The complainant was not charged with any offence.

Mr O’Keefe has been remanded in custody since his arrest and lost a bail bid at the NSW Supreme Court in March.

Defense barrister Sharon Ramsden submitted a new bail application on Wednesday, saying there is a special circumstance where a bed is available at a long-term rehabilitation center in Port Stephens.

She also argued that other evidence had been served on Mr. O’Keefe that pointed to the “lack of prejudice” to the plaintiff.

“It’s not my intention to rehash it all and waste your time,” Ms Ramsden told the court.

“There were other brief service items that support my client.”

During the nearly two-hour bail hearing, Mr O’Keefe was visibly frustrated with what was being said in court and said he could not see the court on his AVL screen.

A police prosecutor opposed the bail request and said there was “no new information” other than certain photographs of the complainant.

“There are no new circumstances in what was presented in court … he was in rehab nine times,” he said.

Mr O’Keefe spoke to the prosecutor to deny the allegations as magistrate Daniel Reiss warned him he would ‘turn back the clock by speaking out’.

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

“I’m only revealing the truth.”

Mr Reiss said the significant difference between previous bail applications was that there was now the option of going to a long-term rehabilitation centre.

He told the court it was ‘troubling’ that Mr O’Keefe’s alleged offense continued while he was already out on bail.

The 50-year-old bursts into anger: “Alleged behavior, Your Honor, nothing is confirmed.”

“Are you trying to sabotage your own candidacy,” replied the magistrate.

Mr O’Keefe continued to interrupt and shake his head in frustration as Mr Reiss spoke in court about the 50-year-old’s mental health and drug issues.

Despite Ms Ramsden’s multiple pleas to shut up and only say something when spoken to, Mr O’Keefe pushed on.

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

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

The magistrate warned that Mr O’Keefe is close to contempt of court.

“I have dealt with many defendants, some are psychotic and not as difficult to deal with as you are. Someone with legal qualifications and 10 warnings should know how to deal with it,” Mr. Reiss said.

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

Mr Reiss said he was going to give Mr O’Keefe bail to go to the rehabilitation center until he witnessed his behavior in court.

This angered Mr. O’Keefe.

“I would have been inclined to grant bail but for Mr. O’Keefe’s continued behavior in court,” Mr. Reiss said.

“Someone who is qualified as a lawyer and who has appeared several times, there have been several warnings.

“I am introduced to a man who cannot be trusted to comply with instructions.”

Mr Reiss refused bail, saying he was unwilling to accept the ‘unacceptable risk’ of letting Mr O’Keefe out of police custody.

Mr O’Keefe gathered up his papers and stood up before saying: ‘The transcript will say I wasn’t arguing, I was trying to help Your Honour.’

“You have no interest in justice,” Mr O’Keefe continued before storming out of the AVL suite.

Mr Reiss told Ms Ramsden that Mr O’Keefe would have to apologize to the court or he would be found in contempt.

“There will be a contempt citation unless he retracts and apologizes for his behavior,” he said.

“He will have to recant, otherwise there will be contempt proceedings.”

Mr O’Keefe will return to court for a hearing in June.

After a successful 17-year partnership, Channel 7 has dumped Mr O’Keefe following a series of public scandals and personal struggles which are said to have impacted the production of hit game show The Chase Australia.

Prior to launching The Chase, Mr O’Keefe hosted Weekend Sunrise, Deal or No Deal, The Rich List and other prime time specials including the Logie Awards.

He received an Order of Australia for his work in television and the charity space, including as a former ambassador for the anti-domestic violence organization White Ribbon.


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