Emile Hirsch has been charged with assault after having put a woman in a chokehold during Sundance film festival. The incident took place on Jan. 25, at the Tao nightclub in Park City, UT.
According to Ryan Stack, the county prosecutor, Hirsch was charged with aggravated assault, punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison, as well as a $5,000 fine. He was also charged with intoxication and third-degree felony.
The court papers say that Hirsch allegedly assaulted a woman and put her in a chokehold. The 29-year-old actor later admitted to the police he did not know the woman but he could remember he was having an argument with her before the attack.
Hirsch, from Palms, California, who is most famous for starring in films like Into the Wild and Lone Survivor, was in Park City for the Sundance festival. He was there to attend the premiere of Ten Thousand Saints, in which he worked with Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield. It was during one of the nights of the festival that the assault happened, when the actor was out with some friends having a few drinks.
The police got a call at around three in the morning from the Tao club where a woman had been assaulted. The victim, whose name is Daniele Bernfeld, is one of the executives for Insurge Pictures, a company that is part of Paramount Pictures. The actor will now face charges for this assault to Bernfeld.
Ms. Bernfeld reported Hirsch approached her and asked her why she looked so tough. The actor then called her a rich kid and told her she should not be at the Sundance festival. In the court documents it says that Hirsch tried to seize Bernfeld but she managed to push him away from her. He went back to his table where he was with friends but decided to go back to where she was, this time grabbing her from behind and putting her in a chokehold.
Hirsch pulled her across the table and they both fell to the floor, Hirsch on top of Bernfeld and with his hands on her throat. The executive in her declaration said everything went dark while being attacked, so she believes she passed out for a brief period of time. There is at least one witness that has backed her account of the incident.
The Lone Survivor actor admitted to the police he had had a few drinks; one of the officers reported Hirsch had difficulties to keep his balance, smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred. The actor was not arrested and was collaborating with the authorities.
One of his lawyers, Robert Offer, has declared the actor feels very depressed about what has happened and that he is taking this incident very seriously. Offer added that the actor has sought help and has gone into rehabilitation to make sure he does not show such behaviour again.
Emile Hirsch has been charged with assault and could face up to five years of prison. His court date is next month, March 16.
By Vanessa Pouso
Photo by Tabercil – Flickr License