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Emile Hirsch charged with aggravated assault after Sundance incident

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Emile Hirsch has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly choking a female film executive at last month’s Sundance Film Festival.

The actor, who is best known for his roles in Into the Wild and Milk, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.

According to court papers, Emile Hirsch assaulted the woman at a nightclub in Park City, Utah, in the early hours of January 25.


Prosecutors named the woman as Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for Insurge Pictures, part of Paramount Pictures.

Police were called to the club after Daniele Bernfeld reported being assaulted.

Daniele Bernfeld told police that Emile Hirsch approached her and asked her why she looked “so tough”, according to charging documents.

He also told the executive she was a “rich kid who should not be at Sundance”, the documents said.Emile Hirsch Sundance altercation

Emile Hirsch is alleged to have initially grabbed Daniele Bernfeld before she pushed him away. The actor was then said to have grabbed her from behind.

The charging documents said Emile Hirsch put her in a chokehold, pulled her across the table and landed on top of her on the floor, putting his hands around her throat.

The alleged victim said she felt as though “the front and back of her throat were touching”, adding that she may have temporarily blacked out.

Two bystanders apparently pulled Emile Hirsch away. A witness has backed up Daniele Bernfeld’s version of events, according to court documents.

Emile Hirsch told police he did not know the woman but was having an argument with her. He said he had had three or four drinks, and a police officer told prosecutors his balance was impaired and his speech slurred.

The actor has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of intoxication.

The star is due to appear in court on March 16.

Emile Hirsch is best known for his work with Sean Penn. He took the lead role in Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild and starred alongside him in Milk.

He also played the leading man in Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock in 2009.

Emile Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama Ten Thousand Saints, in which he appears alongside Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield.

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