Prosecutors in Utah have charged actor Emile Hirsch with assault after he allegedly put a female film executive in a chokehold during the Sundance Film Festival.
Hirsch was charged on Thursday in connection with the Jan. 25 incident at Tao nightclub in Park City, Utah. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 16.
According to authorities, Park City police were called to the club around 4 a.m. There, Daniele Bernfeld, who has been called one of Hollywood's top film executives under 35, told officers that she was assaulted by Hirsch.
Hirsch appeared to be intoxicated as he approached her, calling her a "rich kid" who shouldn't be at Sundance and asking why she looked "tough," Bernfeld told police.
He then allegedly grabbed her, and she pushed him away. But he returned as she was sitting with a friend, and this time, Bernfeld told police the actor put her in a chokehold, causing her to momentarily black out.
Bystanders pulled Hirsch off after he allegedly dragged her to the floor, witnesses said. Police officers noted redness on her neck and chest.
When an officer asked Hirsch about the incident, he admitted to a verbal confrontation with Bernfeld, as well as to drinking three or four drinks, according to authorities. The officer said the actor's eyes were red and glossy, smelled of alcohol, and was slurring his speech.
If convicted of aggravated assault, a felony, Hirsch faces a maximum five years in prison.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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