Prison staff at Sydney’s Silverwater Correctional Complex have alleged that disgraced television star Andrew O’Keefe is struggling with his new life behind bars and has reportedly exhibited “prima donna” behaviour.
The 50-year-old former Deal or No Deal host is currently incarcerated in a two by three-metre cell in Silverwater prison after being charged in January for allegedly grabbing a woman by her throat and assaulting her.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph sources inside the prison have revealed that O’Keefe hadn’t come to terms with his situation.
“He’s demanding. Constantly asking for this and for that … he’s a real prima donna,” sources said.
In February, the ex-game show host spent had already spent 14 days in protective quarantine in Silverwater Prison, during which, his lawyers worked overtime to get him transferred from prison to a health care facility after sources close to the ex-game show host said they fear for his safety as he is in need of “urgent mental health treatment”, which was not offered inside the prison.
Last month, O’Keefe plead not guilty to the six charges related to the alleged assault, which included intentionally choking a person without consent, three counts of common assault and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
A hearing date for the alleged assault and choking charges has been set for July 18.
O’Keefe’s fall from grace began in 2009 when the former television star was filmed drunk in a gutter.
The television star then had a tumultuous few years following the breakdown of his marriage to his wife Eleanor in 2017.
In 2019, his run-ins with the law continued when he was faced with driving offences and was accused of assaulting a photographer.
In November 2019, it was revealed that the production of The Chase had been halted for the rest of the year after host O’Keefe took some time away from the show in order to focus on his mental health.
Then in February 2021 after 17 years of working with Channel 7, O’Keefe was dumped by the network after he was arrested and charged over an alleged domestic assault.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Herald Sun, the television star admitted a series of “poor choices” in his life and his health led him down the path of seeking professional help,
“I have had a few things going on in my life in recent times — there have been a few things going on in my life as a constant for a little too long,’’ he told the news outlet. “I was surprised to discover perhaps I was not as resilient as I imagined I was and that …. I was exhausted, I was a bit lost,” he said.