Feature

Sutherland’s hard time

Kiefer Sutherland thinks a stint in jail did him some good, says Martyn Palmer in the London <em>Times.</em>

Kiefer Sutherland thinks a stint in jail did him some good, says Martyn Palmer in the London Times. The 42-year-old actor served a 48-day sentence in a Los Angeles lockup last year, following his conviction on a second drunken-driving charge in three years. “I did a lot of thinking about what I was doing in there,” he says. “It was one of those times when you go, ‘Well, I can bitch about the seven or eight weeks or however long you are there for, or I can do some push-ups and learn to fold laundry properly and take some time to think about what you are doing.’” The prison was full of gang members, drug dealers, and hardened criminals, and Sutherland spent long stretches of time locked down in his own cell for his own safety. That gave him ample time to think about what could have happened the night he got behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol level at three times the legal limit. “It was careless. I wasn’t thinking. I’ve never had a traffic accident in my life, but if I did in that situation and I had hurt someone, well, your life is over.’’ He admits that the prison sentence affected him in a way that, say, probation and a judge’s lecture would not. “I did try to make the most of it. Is it somewhere I plan on going back to? No.”

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