Andrew O’Keefe’s battle with sex addiction

Sex addiction and a compulsive need for intimacy are two of the issues television personality Andrew O'Keefe is now battling to come to terms with in the psychiatric ward of a Sydney hospital.

The recently axed Seven Network star has been battling a sex addiction for decades, a source told The Sunday Telegraph.

"He has a number of underlying problems but at the root of them is a sex addiction that drives him in dangerous and self-destructive ways," the insider said, shedding light for the first time on the mental issues that O'Keefe has repeatedly sought treatment for.

A friend of the axed The Chase host this month told The Sunday Telegraph O'Keefe and Dr Orly Lavee, the partner he allegedly assaulted on January 30 at her Randwick apartment, had "an amazing chemistry and a deep mutual love".

Andrew O'Keefe is dealing with sex addiction. Picture: Tim Hunter
Andrew O'Keefe is dealing with sex addiction. Picture: Tim Hunter

The mother-of-two's young children were not at the apartment on the night of the alleged incident.

Within months of separating from his wife Eleanor in 2017, O'Keefe was filmed kissing a brunette during a night out at The Den nightclub in Tasmania.

A 21-year-old university student told Woman's Day magazine she was shocked when an "off his face" O'Keefe grabbed her and started kissing her.

"I went over to say 'Hi' to some friends he was sitting with, and I put my arm around him for a photo but I didn't expect him to kiss me. It was a bit of a shock."

O'Keefe had earlier been ejected from the women's bathroom of a nightclub, the magazine reported.

He was again reportedly in trouble with an incident at a Seven Network Christmas party in December 2017.

Days later Seven axed him from the hosting role on Weekend Sunrise.

A year earlier, O'Keefe was hospitalised and treated for bruised ribs, cuts and facial swelling, after being hit by a car while riding his bike home from a production Christmas party for The Chase.

In 2018 he was also photographed cavorting with two young women in a Brisbane hotel elevator during a production break from The Chase.

The amorous encounter took place a decade after footage emerged of an under-the-weather O'Keefe collapsing in a gutter outside Melbourne nightclub Revolver while in the company of a blonde woman in 2008.

O'Keefe has been axed as host of The Chase. Picture: Channel 7
O'Keefe has been axed as host of The Chase. Picture: Channel 7

It was that same year O'Keefe met Dr Lavee, the haematologist at St Vincent's Hospital, who would become his partner, the doctor inviting him to share her Randwick apartment with her and playing an instrumental role in encouraging O'Keefe to seek treatment for issues that had plagued him for a decade.

O'Keefe's manager, Mark Klemens, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

On Thursday a court heard O'Keefe remains an involuntary inpatient in the psychiatric ward of Randwick's Prince of Wales Hospital - literally just blocks from Lavee's Randwick apartment where the alleged assault took place.

O'Keefe's lawyer requested the 49-year-old be considered for a section 32 application giving the magistrate power to dismiss the assault charge on the grounds of mental health and order O'Keefe into treatment outside the criminal justice system.

If the provision is not granted, the former chair of domestic violence charity White Ribbon will plead guilty to the charge, his lawyer told the court. The matter has been adjourned until April.

Having spent recent years in and out of rehab facilities seeking treatment for the mental and emotional issues that plague him, father-of-three O'Keefe has demonstrated a commitment to rehabilitation.

Though reluctant to define the demons, he offered a hint to this writer in 2019.

"There's another issue, that I won't go into, that was particularly poignant that came up after 40 years which I knew the existence of, but had never really impacted me in the way that it did," he said.

Sexual addiction and celebrity frequently go hand-in-hand. Actors David Duchovny and Michael Douglas have outed themselves as sex addicts along with comedian Russell Brand and singer Robbie Williams.

In 2018 Kanye West revealed his sex addition began in puberty as a gamer playing hyper sexualised computer games: "Look at the drive that people have to get sex - to dress like
this and get a haircut and be in a club in the freezing cold at 3am, the places they go to pick up a girl."

Originally published as Andrew O'Keefe's battle with sex addiction


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