DARWIN, Australia - A senior Australian lawmaker who was once handcuffed in his underpants to a pole during a drunken night in a Russian strip club said Wednesday he had learned from the experience: "always wear clean underwear."

Sen. Nigel Scullion said he enjoyed his night out in 1998 in St. Petersburg where, as a professional fisherman, he led an Australian delegation at a global fishing conference.

The escapade was first reported in Australian newspapers Tuesday, a week after the 51-year-old married senator was elected deputy leader of the conservative opposition National Party. He was first elected to Parliament in 2001.

"It was a terrific night," Scullion told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"If you ever get an offer to go drinking with Icelandic whalers and Canadian crab fishermen, take them up on it," he said.

"Two important lessons out of life from that: don't let anyone handcuff you to a post and make sure you always wear clean underwear," he added.

Media reported Scullion struggled to break free from the pole as a fight broke out between Russian sailors and other patrons. He fled the club partially clothed.

"Everybody has a colorful past," said Scullion, adding that he is not ashamed of his behavior.

Scullion is the latest Australian lawmaker to face recent scrutiny over a history in strip clubs.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was elected last month, made a public apology in August after media revelations that he had a drunken night in a New York strip club in 2003 when he was a senior opposition lawmaker.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071212/ap_on_fe_st/odd_stripped_senator;_ylt=AsxpOUnnCmSUWYCQYckV94As QE4F