Emile Hirsch has been charged with third degree felony aggravated assault following an alleged altercation during the Sundance Film Festival.
According to reports, Hirsch was at the Tao nightclub in Park City, Utah at about 3:15 a.m. on January 25th. Apparently quite intoxicated, he allegedly approached Paramount Pictures’ Vice President of Digital Entertainment Dani Bernfeld and asked why she looked “so tough” and called her a “rich kid” who had no place at Sundance.
Hirsch is said to have grabbed Bernfeld, who was able to break away from him and sit with friends at a table. Not long after, however, Hirsch allegedly approached Bernfeld from behind and placed her in a chokehold. He then apparently pulled her across the table and landed on top of her on the floor, where he proceeded to wrap his hands around her neck and squeeze. Two bystanders intervened and pulled Hirsch off of Bernfeld.
Bernfeld recounted that it felt as if “the front and back of her throat were touching” and that she recalls things going dark, perhaps even blacking out momentarily. A spokesman told Variety that the Lone Survivor actor was arrested the next morning, with a court date set for March 16th. If convicted, Hirsch could spend up to five years in a Utah State Prison.
Robert Offer, Hirsch’s spokesperson, told TMZ that his client “consumed an enormous amount of alcohol on the evening in question and he has no memory of what happened.” He added, “Emile takes these allegations very seriously, and is devastated that any of this has occurred. A few days after the incident, Emile sought help and checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation facility, where he remains today, to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”