Emile Hirsch took a plea deal and could have conviction expunged later
Victim is unhappy with what she thinks is a light sentence
Hirsch put a Hollywood exec in a chokehold during the Sundance Film Festival
Emile Hirsch should have probably stuck to screening movies at Sundance.
As part of a plea deal, Hirsch pleaded guilty Monday to a Class A misdemeanor instead of a felony, CNN affiliate KSTU in Salt Lake City, Utah, reported.
The “Lone Survivor” actor is being charged with felony aggravated assault and intoxication, prosecuting attorney Ryan Stack of the Summit County (Utah) Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Judge Kara Pettit sentenced Hirsch to 15 days in county jail, 50 hours of community service and ordered him to pay a $4,750 fine.
“There’s no absolutely no excuse for what happened,” the 30-year-old actor said. He said he was drunk and after the incident spent 36 days in rehab.
Hirsch had a verbal and physical altercation with Daniele Bernfeld, a Paramount executive, at TAO nightclub in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival in January, court documents say.
The early morning altercation reportedly involved Hirsch putting Bernfeld into a chokehold so forceful that she “couldn’t breathe” and caused her to black out. Two bystanders pulled Hirsch off Bernfeld before police arrived. Some “redness” was seen around Bernfeld’s neck, authorities said.
The incident happened after Hirsch allegedly confronted Bernfeld, calling her a “rich kid” and questioning why she looked “so tough.” Hirsch reportedly admitted to being in a verbal confrontation with Bernfeld and that he had consumed three to four drinks that evening. He also claimed that he did not know Bernfeld personally.
That’s not quite the same story he’s sharing now. According to Hirsch’s lawyer Robert Offer, he consumed an “enormous amount of alcohol that night” and has since checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation facility, where he currently remains. Offer says Hirsch has no memory of what happened at the time of the allegations but is “devastated” over the incident.
Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of “Ten Thousands Saints,” in which he stars with Ethan Hawke.
A Paramount representative has yet to respond to messages seeking comment. TAO declined to comment.
“Quite simply, this punishment does not fit the crime,” she said.
The actor said he was “truly sorry for what I’ve put her through.”
If Hirsch completes the terms of the agreement, the conviction will be dropped from his record.
CNN’s Lorenza Brascia contributed to this report.