Kiefer Sutherland says not "wrongdoer" in NY case
Mon May 11, 10:00 PM EDT
Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Actor Kiefer Sutherland says he was "neither the instigator nor the wrongdoer" in an incident that saw him charged with assault for headbutting a fashion designer who bumped actress Brooke Shields at a swank New York party.

The star of the hit television show "24," who already is on probation for a 2007 drunken driving case, surrendered to New York City police on Thursday and was charged with a minor assault. He is due to appear in state court on June 22.

Sutherland is accused of assaulting fashion designer Jack McCollough, co-founder of women's wear label Proenza Schouler, after he bumped into actress Brooke Shields at a party after an annual Metropolitan Museum of Art costume gala last Monday.

Police said the assault took place at 2 a.m. (0060 GMT) Tuesday at an exclusive bar below The Mercer Hotel in Soho.

"We are troubled by the untruthful and self-serving information circulating regarding Kiefer Sutherland and events of last Monday evening," lawyer Michael Miller said in a statement on behalf of Sutherland.

"We are confident, however, that the investigation being conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the NYPD will confirm that Kiefer Sutherland was neither the instigator nor a wrongdoer in this incident," he said.

A lawyer for Shields, Gerald Lefcourt, said in a statement on Monday that the actress is friends with both Sutherland and McCollough and "regrets this unfortunate situation."

"While at the party she was bumped into by Jack McCollough and Kiefer Sutherland became concerned," Lefcourt said. "Kiefer has always been a gentleman in her company."

The charge could have dire consequences for Sutherland, who plays tough-minded special agent Jack Bauer on the TV thriller "24" and is the son of actor Donald Sutherland.

The 42-year-old British-born Canadian actor spent 48 days in jail after being arrested in 2007 for drunken driving in Los Angeles and is serving five years probation for the incident. At the time of the 2007 arrest, Sutherland was on probation for a prior drunken driving violation.

Los Angeles officials have said they will decide if Sutherland has violated his probation.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Christine Kearney; Editing by Bill Trott)

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