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Former television personality Andrew O’Keefe has faced Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court to learn that his assault charges had been dropped.

It was alleged that Andrew had choked, punched, and kicked a 38-year-old woman in a Sydney unit early in 2022.

Andrew has maintained that he acted in self defence. In court, his legal team claimed that the woman attacked him with a cricket bat and scissors, and that he was forced to take action to defend himself.

It was alleged that the pair – who had developed a friendship after Andrew employed her for her sex work services – got into an argument after he called in a $20,000 debt, and the woman requested more money for a potential business.

He was due to fight the allegations but the charges – including common assault, intentional choking, and assault occasioning bodily harm – were withdrawn after the woman he was accused of choking left the country.

“They are not in the jurisdiction and our capacity to have the witness appear has been unsuccessful,” police prosecutor Michael Cleaver told the court. “The prosecution case relies significantly on one single civilian witness who has left the country.”

Despite the twist in Andrew’s case, he still faces charges including resisting arrest, drug possession, and domestic violence relating to a different incident with another woman.

In June 2021, charges against him were approached under the NSW Mental Health Act, and he avoided a domestic violence conviction.

In May 2022, the NSW Supreme Court granted Andrew strict bail to reside at a Port Stephens long-term residential rehabilitation facility, in the hope of him tackling his cocaine, ice and cannabis abuse.

The 51-year-old’s life has changed drastically from his days in the spotlight with Channel 7, where he appeared as host on many of their top shows – from Deal or No Deal to Weekend Sunrise, and most recently The Chase Australia.

Andrew is also a former chairman of White Ribbon Australia, an organisation with the goal of preventing violence against women. This work even led to him being appointed to the inaugural National Council for the Prevention of Violence Against Women in 2008, long before his 2021 domestic violence arrest.

Images: Getty

This article first appeared on Over60.