Emile Hirsch charged with assault for allegedly choking woman at Sundance

'Into The Wild' actor is alleged to have placed a female film executive in a chokehold

Actor Emile Hirsch has been charged with assault after allegedly choking a female film executive at the Sundance Film Festival last month (January).

The alleged assault took place at Tao nightclub in Park City, Utah on January 25, Reuters reports. According to court documents, 29-year-old Hirsch approached Dani Bernfeld, an executive who works for Paramount Pictures, and told her she was a “rich kid” who didn’t belong at the festival.

Hirsch is then alleged to have grabbed Bernfeld, before she pushed him away and moved to a different area of the club with her friends. However, shortly afterwards Hirsch is alleged to have approached Bernfeld again and placed her in a chokehold from behind.

During an altercation in which Hirsch allegedly dragged the executive across a table and onto the floor, Bernfeld told the court Hirsch gripped her neck so tightly that she felt as though “the front and back of my throat were touching”. Bernfeld also said she may have suffered a momentary blackout during the altercation.

Hirsch has been charged with aggravated assault, an offence which is punishable with up to five years in jail in Utah, and intoxication. He has yet to comment on the charges.

His latest film, Ten Thousand Saints, in which he stars opposite Ethan Hawke, Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield, had premiered at Sundance on January 23, two days before the alleged incident. Hirsch is best known for his roles in 2004’s The Girl Next Door, 2007’s Into The Wild and 2008’s Milk.