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Sutherland charged in head-butt claim

'24' star accused of attacking fashion designer

Kiefer Sutherland has been charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly head-butting a fashion designer at a Manhattan nightclub.

The star of Fox television’s “24” reported to a lower Manhattan police station in a Lincoln Town Car alongside his lawyers Thursday, but he did not speak to reporters.

Sutherland, 42, was interviewed by investigators, given a ticket, ordered to appear in court June 22 and released on his own recognizance. The minor charge is akin to a speeding ticket.

But the case could create another major legal hassle for Sutherland, who served 48 days in jail on a drunken-driving charge in California last year.

The designer, Jack McCollough of the high-end Proenza Schouler fashion house, claims Sutherland attacked him after an argument, leaving him with a cut on his face. The incident happened about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Detectives were planning to question actress Brooke Shields as a witness because she was at the trendy SoHo nightspot SubMercer, in the basement of the Mercer Hotel, where the altercation took place. Drinks at the ultra-hip club cost around $15.

No decision has been made on whether the charge will affect Sutherland’s probation for a drunken-driving conviction in Los Angeles, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney.

Sutherland pleaded no contest to driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was sentenced to 30 days, in addition to 18 days for violating probation in a 2004 drunken-driving arrest.

Representatives for Sutherland, Shields and McCollough did not return several calls seeking comment.

Sutherland, who plays dashing federal counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer on “24,” won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for best actor, and has been nominated multiple times for his work on the wildly popular show. His gritty portrayal of the counterterrorism agent has made Bauer an iconic character.

The current season — the show’s seventh — finds Bauer scrambling through Washington to save the world from its latest bad day. Sutherland also has signed on for an eighth season. The show airs on Mondays.

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