George Pimentel/WireImage
May 13, 2009 04:55 PM

One thing is for sure: No matter what kind of scrape he gets into, 24 star Kiefer Sutherland has plenty of backup.

“I’ve felt a lot of support and I’m grateful for that,” he told Entertainment Tonight at an event celebrating Fox show’s finale, which airs May 18.

Sutherland, 42, was charged with misdemeanor assault in N.Y.C. on May 7 after allegedly getting physical with Proenza Schouler women’s wear designer Jack McCollough at a party.

Cast and crew from the hit FOX show gathered at L.A’s Wadsworth Theatre on Tuesday to celebrate the season seven finale, where they weighed in on co-star Sutherland.

“I think Jack Bauer is an inspirational character. And Kiefer shares his contempt for bull—-. Kiefer doesn’t suffer fools,” executive producer Howard Gordon tells PEOPLE.

“[Kiefer] is just so focused and so intense,” says Cherry Jones, who plays President Allison Taylor. “And then it’s over and then he is fun and delicious and delightful.”

Jokes co-star Carlos Bernard of Sutherland’s off-camera persona: “He’s a little girl. I try to get him to toughen up a little but, you know, he cries a lot.”

While his assault case is pending, Sutherland is preparing to start shooting the eighth season of 24 in two weeks. “We are so focused on getting season eight up and running and doing that properly,” Sutherland tells PEOPLE. “No one has entertained a conversation or a thought about season nine. We do one season at a time.”

Reporting by SHAYNA ROSE ARNOLD

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