Television personality Andrew O'Keefe has had his domestic violence charges dealt with under the NSW Mental Health Act after admitting to "spitting, slapping, and kicking the victim".
Details on Friday emerged of the 49-year-old's argument with then-girlfriend Orly Lavee on January 31 after she believed he was carrying an ice pipe in his pocket, Waverley Local Court was on told.
The former Seven Network presenter and Ms Lavee were leaving a birthday party in Surry Hills where he emptied out his trousers and denied the accusation, but the argument escalated back at her Randwick home.
After two years together Ms Lavee told O'Keefe "to go and never come back," according to the facts of the case.
The former Weekend Sunrise host had insufficient funds in his account to order an Uber, and asked if Ms Lavee would but she told him to walk "the long distance," with his "heavy bag".
"You are cruel and heartless" he said at the time.
"The relationship meant nothing to me," Ms Lavee later told him.
"That's a real spit in the face," O'Keefe responded before he spat on her face.
After a tussle where his buttons were ripped off his shirt O'Keefe left without his phone and medication, but shortly returned to retrieve the items.
Meanwhile, Ms Lavee trawled through the mobile contents and threatened to tell the media and his ex-wife that he was a "junkie" and had been cheating, which he denied.
After repeatedly refusing to hand over his phone O'Keefe knocked Ms Lavee into a bookcase, grabbed her breast, kicked her in the buttocks, and pushed her against the carpet floor.
She suffered swelling, a small laceration to her lip and some abrasion to her back.
Magistrate Ross Hudson said the community were frankly "fed up" with domestic violence-related offences happening behind closed doors.
But the magistrate said there was clear evidence of longstanding bipolar disorder, extending throughout several members of his family, and that O'Keefe was in a hyper manic state at the time of offending.
He has since shown insight into the severity and extent of his mental health condition, recently telling his treating doctor words to the effect "it has been so good to realise this is my ninth admission," Mr Hudson said.
O'Keefe spent two weeks as an involuntary at a psychiatric ward immediately after the assault.
Police soon attended and O'Keefe was interviewed, where he said what happened and showed remorse, and had since been complying with an intensive treatment program including help for his substance abuse problems.
On Friday one charge relating to an incident at Kangaroo Valley was withdrawn and dismissed, leaving one charge of common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Outside court O'Keefe thanked the magistrate for managing the balancing act well and agreed there was a strong need to protect particularly women against domestic violence offending.
Asked if his television career was over he responded: "I'm not sure whether I'm over or whether TV's over," but his priority was getting better.
The ex-lawyer and son of former NSW Supreme Court judge Barry O'Keefe, was a founding member of the domestic violence charity - the White Ribbon Foundation - where he served as chairman in 2017.
The organisation went into liquidation in 2019, while White Ribbon has distanced itself from O'Keefe since his arrest.
He has been ordered to continue medical and psychological treatment for at least six months, abstain from alcohol and drug use, and agreed to a 12-month ADVO protecting Ms Lavee.
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Australian Associated Press