By and  on May 8, 2009

On Monday night, paparazzi swarmed the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take photos of Kiefer Sutherland and others on the red carpet, but it was an entirely different story Thursday afternoon. Dozens of shutterbugs and reporters huddled in the rain outside of TriBeCa’s First Precinct, awaiting the arrival of Sutherland, who was expected to appear to face an assault charge brought by Proenza Schouler designer Jack McCollough over a head-butting incident. And at around 4:15 p.m., Sutherland finally arrived. Emerging from a black car dressed in blue jeans and a black overcoat, he showed a slight grin when the swarm of photographers yelled at him, but walked briskly from the curb to the station door. Inside, police fingerprinted Sutherland and took his mug shots. After nearly two hours, during which he was formally charged with third-degree assault — a misdemeanor — and issued a desk summons, Sutherland was released. And with a few waves and smiles for the crowd, the actor slipped into the backseat of an idling car around 6 p.m. The case now moves to the District Attorney’s office. A court date has not been set.

Both Sutherland and McCollough attended the 2009 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute gala, as well as an after party at the Mercer Hotel’s Submercer Bar, where the “24” star allegedly struck the designer in the face early Tuesday morning for jostling fellow partygoer Brooke Shields. However, any wrongdoing on McCollough’s part appears highly questionable. When reached for comment, McCollough’s rep Pierre Rougier told WWD, “There was no altercation. This was a violent assault, pure and simple.” (And on Wednesday, Shields’ publicist told gossip Web site TMZ McCollough “did absolutely nothing to her,” adding, “It’s not clear what caused Kiefer to do what he did.” Shields herself was silent on the red carpet at the Leaves of Change event, as advised by her lawyers not to address the situation.)

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