Emile Hirsch has pleaded guilty to assaulting a female film executive during the Sundance Film Festival in January. The Into The Wild star was given a 15-day jail term, a $4,750 fine and 50 hours of community service as part of a plea deal agreed with prosecutors.
The 30-year-old actor had initially faced a felony count of aggravated assault relating to an attack on Daniele Bernfeld, which took place on 25 January at the Tao nightclub in Park City, Utah. The deal meant that Emile managed to avoid the maximum jail sentence of five years, and was told that if he completes the sentence, the charges will be dropped from his record.
Emile Hirsch pictured in court after entering his guilty plea
Daniele, an executive for the Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures, told police that Emile put in her in a chokehold from behind, dragged her across a table and body-slammed her to the floor.
Emile's attorneys acknowledged that he had drunk too much alcohol and did not remember the incident, adding that he had checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation centre a few days later and has been sober ever since.
Daniele said for her part that the deal did not go far enough, stating that the attack had caused her long-term damage. In a statement read out in court, she said she thought she "was going to die" when the actor was choking her.
"I was subject to a violent and unprovoked attack by a complete stranger," she said. "The defendant, Emile Hirsch, put me in a chokehold, pulled me off my feet and threw me to the floor. With the full force of his weight, he choked me until I blacked out."
Emile told the court there was "no excuse" for his behaviour, adding that it was "wrong" and "reckless".
Following sentencing, Daniele said she believed the punishment "does not fit the crime".
"This act of violence has greater implications than the physical injuries I sustained. The long-lasting effects of this assault will remain with me," she said.