Bombshell in Andrew O’Keefe case as cops DROP choking charges

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Bombshell in Andrew O’Keefe case as cops DROP choking charges

Embattled former television star Andrew O'Keefe has had a raft of assault charges withdrawn after the woman police accused him of choking left the cou

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Embattled former television star Andrew O’Keefe has had a raft of assault charges withdrawn after the woman police accused him of choking left the country.

Andrew O’Keefe, 51, was due to fight allegations of assault and intentionally choking a woman without consent in the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday.

However, police prosecutor Michael Cleaver told the court the complainant was no longer in the country.

‘They are not in the jurisdiction and our capacity to have the witness appear has been unsuccessful,’ Sergeant Cleaver said.

The court was told the woman returned to her home country.

Andrew O'Keefe is facing court on Monday over a series of domestic violence, drug possession and resisting arrest charges. Above, during a previous appearance

Andrew O'Keefe is facing court on Monday over a series of domestic violence, drug possession and resisting arrest charges. Above, during a previous appearance

Andrew O’Keefe is facing court on Monday over a series of domestic violence, drug possession and resisting arrest charges. Above, during a previous appearance

O’Keefe still faces a separate hearing on unrelated domestic violence, drug possession and resisting arrest charges.

The former host of the popular game show The Chase Australia was initially accused by police of grabbing a 38-year-old woman by the throat on January 25 last year.

Police alleged he then pushed her to the ground and punched her. Mr O’Keefe maintains he acted in self defence.

The pair allegedly met previously when the woman was a sex worker whom Mr O’Keefe had employed for her services before they developed a friendship.

Police alleged they started arguing after he called in a debt for $20,000 and the woman asked for more money to further a business she planned to start.

Sergeant Cleaver withdrew six charges relating to the incident, including two counts of intentionally choking a person without consent, three counts of common assault and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

O’Keefe pleaded guilty to one count of contravening an apprehended violence order.

The hearing is still set to go ahead, with the former TV star to fight one charge of resisting a police officer on duty, a drug possession charge and domestic violence charges relating to a different woman.

Andrew O'Keefe was one of Channel Seven's biggest stars before he was dumped by the network in 2021

Andrew O'Keefe was one of Channel Seven's biggest stars before he was dumped by the network in 2021

Andrew O’Keefe was one of Channel Seven’s biggest stars before he was dumped by the network in 2021

The former TV presenter spent almost five months in custody on remand after he was charged with the offences.

He was granted strict bail by the NSW Supreme Court in May 2022 to reside at a long-term residential rehabilitation facility in Port Stephens.

He has faced a different kind of spotlight since the assault allegations came to light after a long career as a TV presenter on Channel 7.

Mr O’Keefe appeared as the face of many programs for the broadcaster, from Deal or No Deal to Weekend Sunrise.

He served on the National Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and founded the well-known White Ribbon Australia organisation dedicated to the cause.

In 2017, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his charity work and accomplishments in television.

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