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Kiefer Sutherland Achieved Success in Hollywood Playing a Bad Guy. In Real Life, He Ate Turkey Sandwiches in Jail After a Run-in with the Law.

Source: Glendale police; MEGA

Kiefer Sutherland.

Nov. 23 2023, Published 2:03 p.m. ET

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Kiefer Sutherland has done well for himself playing a bad guy in films. It didn't go so well for him when he played a bad guy in real life.

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Not only did the actor known for playing Jack Bauer on "24" wind up with a celebrity mugshot, he wound up spending 48 days in jail for a driving under the influence arrest in 2007.

According to Reuters, Sutherland was arrested in September 2007 for drunken driving while he was on probation for a 2004 drunken-driving conviction. The outlet reported that the actor pleaded no contest — a plea in which a defendant accepts the conviction while not admitting guilt — which allowed him to not miss anytime with 24.

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Reuters reported that Sutherland was released from a Southern California jail in January 2008, and Glendale Police Officer John Balian said the actor was a model inmate.

“He never gave us any problems, never complained about anything,” Balian told Reuters, adding that Sutherland spent most of his time doing laundry for inmates.

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According to People, Sutherland's stay wasn't to be like what most people invision as being incarcerated. He was to be assigned to laundry and kitchen duty, and he was to be allowed to roam the jail about three-fourths of the days.


Among Sutherland's menu items were Corn Flakes, turkey sandwiches, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and chicken a la king. He was to be allowed two 15-minute visits a day between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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“I’m very disappointed in myself for the poor judgment I exhibited recently, and I’m deeply sorry for the disappointment and distress this has caused my family, friends and co-workers on 24 and at 20th Century Fox. I appreciate the support and concern that has been extended to me these last weeks both personally and professionally," Sutherland said in a 2007 statement.

Reuters reported in 2008 that Sutherland was to serve five years' probation, finish an 18-month alcohol education program and go to six months' worth of weekly therapy sessions.

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According to Reuters, Sutherland narrowly missed further jail time after he was charged with assault in connection to an alleged head-butt to Fashion Designer Jack McCullough in May 2009 in New York. The Los Angeles City's Attorney's Office ruled that he had not violated probation after the New York District Attorney's declined to pursue criminal charges.

Kiefer Sutherland, son of fellow actor Donald Sutherland, has won an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Satellite Awards.


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