Entertainment & Arts

Emile Hirsch reaches deal in studio-exec assault case, pleads guilty to misdemeanor

Emile Hirsch

Actor Emile Hirsch appears in court on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Park City, Utah, after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault after being accused of putting a female studio executive in a chokehold at a Utah nightclub during the Sundance Film Festival.

(Rick Bowmer / AP)

Emile Hirsch has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault after putting a female studio executive in a chokehold during the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The “Into the Wild” actor appeared in court in Park City, Utah, on Monday and entered his plea after reaching a deal with prosecutors, according to the Associated Press. 

Hirsch was sentenced to 15 days in jail, ordered to pay a $4,750 fine and will have to complete 50 hours of community service to get the charge dismissed. The 30-year-old had been charged with aggravated assault in February.

The “Lone Survivor” star was accused of violently attacking Daniele Bernfeld, a vice president for Paramount Pictures’ subsidiary Insurge Pictures, putting her in a chokehold at Park City’s Tao nightclub on Jan. 25. Bernfeld told police that Hirsch dragged her across a table, body-slammed her to the floor and caused her to briefly lose consciousness, records said.


The actor, who was at Sundance to debut his film “Ten Thousand Saints,” said he didn’t know Bernfeld but acknowledged that they did have an argument, the AP reported. In court, he admitted that he’d taken medication that may have mixed badly with alcohol and could not explain why he did what he did.

After the deal, Bernfeld said she thought Hirsch’s penalty should have been harsher.

“If a violent attack in front of a roomful of witnesses can be labeled a misdemeanor and dismissed, what of women who are assaulted while alone in hallways or bathrooms, or behind the closed doors of their own homes?” she said in a statement issued by her attorney to the AP. 

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