Andrew O’Keefe’s TV career suffered a major blow just weeks before he was arrested and charged with assaulting his doctor girlfriend during an alleged row at her unit.
The embattled presenter’s most recent short-term contract with Seven, as host of The Chase, expired at the end of last year.
TV insiders said his future with the station was up in the air prior to the alleged drama on the weekend.
Then on Sunday, police were called to the tidy $2million east Sydney home of his girlfriend, haemotologist Orly Lavee, at about 1am.
A neighbour reported hearing a commotion. ‘He’s always very noisy,’ she said. ‘He’s got a very loud voice.’
O’Keefe was arrested in a nearby street some two-and-a-half hours after the alleged incident, a police statement said.
The Chase Australia host Andrew O’Keefe, 49, has been charged with allegedly assaulting his haemotologist girlfriend Orly Lavee, 41
A forlorn Dr Lavee broke cover on Monday after allegedly being assaulted by her boyfriend, TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe
Happier times: O’Keefe is seen out on the town getting pastries with Dr Lavee last September
O’Keefe was charged with one count of common assault (domestic violence) at Maroubra Police Station and granted police bail.
He was also slapped with a provisional apprehended violence order on Dr Lavee’s behalf.
Friends said the alleged ordeal had left Dr Lavee feeling ‘pretty ordinary’.
Visibly tearful, the medical professional would only say from her home: ‘I really don’t want to talk about what’s happened.’
The AVO conditions ban O’Keefe from contacting her, except via a lawyer, and also from assaulting, molesting, stalking, harassing or intimidating her.
He is also prohibited from attending her workplace or her unit and intentionally or recklessly destroying any property in her possession.
O’Keefe did not respond to questions about whether he will fight the charge. He will face Waverley Local Court on Thursday.
The Mail has established O’Keefe will continue appear on Seven as several episodes of The Chase have been filmed but haven’t been broadcast yet.
A long-time industry source quipped that O’Keefe had ‘done well’ to hang in the TV business for as long as he has.
He has spent some 17 years at the helm of shows such as Deal or No Deal and Weekend Sunrise and lately, The Chase.
Others were more blunt. ‘He’s gone,’ entertainment commentator Peter Ford tweeted on Monday.
Released on bail: Andrew, 49, was arrested and taken to Maroubra Police Station in the early hours of Sunday morning, where he was charged
Dr Lavee was said to be feeling ‘pretty ordinary’ following the charge being laid. A neighbour said O’Keefe was ‘always very noisy’ and regularly made a commotion
Dr Lavee was downcast on Monday, with a neigbour saying she felt ‘pretty ordinary’ about the alleged ordeal
The alleged ordeal came on the same day rumours were printed in a weekend newspaper that O’Keefe was being replaced on Seven by Rove McManus in 2021 following a lengthy battle with ‘exhaustion’.
A Channel Seven spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday – before news broke of his arrest – that Andrew was a ‘valued member’ of the network family.
‘Andrew O’Keefe has been a valued member of the Seven on-air family for many years and he continues to appear on air as host of The Chase Australia,’ she said.
‘The speculation about his future and alleged replacements is baseless, ill-informed and wrong.’
Familiar face: Andrew has been the host of the popular quiz show The Chase since 2015, but he has taken breaks from the network to deal with exhaustion in the past 18 months
The star separated from his wife Eleanor in late 2017 and once did a stint in rehab
Andrew has been the host of the popular quiz show The Chase since 2015.
He has had a number of breaks in the past 18 months in order to take care of some personal health issues.
The star separated from his wife Eleanor in late 2017.
The former couple share three children: Barnaby, 15, Rory, 12, and Olivia, eight.