Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland's attorney says the actor was "neither the instigator nor a wrongdoer" in the incident that led to a misdemeanor assault charge against with the 24 star, who is accused of head-butting a fashion designer during a dispute involving Brooke Shields. 

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

"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. Out of respect for this law enforcement process, Kiefer Sutherland will not be making any comment."

Sutherland was charged with third-degree assault after turning himself in to police Thursday. He was released and must return for a court hearing.

An attorney for Shields said in a separate statement issued by Sutherland's publicist Monday that past statements attributed to Shields about the incident were "neither true nor authorized."

"These statements were obviously made by those who were not in attendance at the party and constitute their version of events. While at the party, she was bumped into by Jack McCollough and Kiefer Sutherland became concerned," said the statement from attorney Gerald Lefcourt. "Kiefer has always been a gentleman in her company. Both Jack and Kiefer are friends of Ms. Shields and she regrets this unfortunate situation."

Witnesses have said that fashion designer McCollough bumped Shields at an after-party for the Met Costume Institute Gala last week, and that Sutherland demanded that McCollough apologize. McCollough pushed Sutherland, and the actor responded with a head-butt, the witnesses said.

Soon after the incident, TMZ quoted an unnamed representative for Shields saying McCollough "did nothing inappropriate. It's not clear what caused Kiefer to do what he did."

Sutherland's New York charge could trigger additional legal problems for Sutherland. The actor is serving five years' probation, which started in December 2007, on a Los Angeles DUI charge. Committing an assault could violate that probation, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said.