Gov. Martin O'Malley not only got a free trip to Los Angeles and face time with various celebrities when he appeared on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week, he also got paid.

Well, not exactly. He was supposed to get $800 for his efforts, but he has directed HBO to donate the money to House of Ruth Maryland, a domestic violence center that helps battered women and their children. The cable show pays guests because of union rules, spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said. (He also noted that O'Malley got paid back when he was Baltimore's mayor for his 2003 cameo on Ladder 49, the flick about firefighters starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta, and donated that money as well.)

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This latest donation is well-timed, considering O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown are appearing Friday at the annual meeting and awards luncheon of the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence. The administration made the issue a top priority during the General Assembly session this year and worked to enact legislation giving judges broader authority to seize firearms from the subjects of domestic violence orders.

O'Malley appeared on the season finale of Maher's show with actor/comedian Garry Shandling, actor Alec Baldwin and TV host Chris Matthews. The governor also appeared in the online overtime segment, where he defended President Barack Obama's policies. For those who missed it, The Sun's Laura Vozzella reported O'Malley's appearance in her column last week. Click here to read it.

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