Emile Hirsch Gets 15 Days In Jail for Choking a Woman
Actor Emile Hirsch made headlines earlier this year by assaulting a female film executive. He was super drunk and uncontrollable at the Tao nightclub and started “aggressively picking on” Dani Bernfeld, a Paramount VP, calling her a “rich kid” and such for no reason at all. Then he did something so shocking, so out of the ordinary — he choke her until she passed out and he bodyslammed her to the ground.
Per the court documents: “Shortly thereafter Hirsch came up from behind Bernfeld and wrapped his arm around her to put her in a chokehold. Hirsch pulled Bernfeld across the table and onto the floor, where he landed on top of her. While Hirsch was on top of Bernfeld he wrapped his hands around her neck. Bernfeld said she felt as though the front and back of her throat were touching and she remembers things going dark. Bernfeld reported that she may have momentarily blacked out.”
Hirsch, who faced a maximum sentence of five years, initially claimed he had no recollection of the attack and checked himself into rehab two weeks after his arrest.
The actor has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail today and will be required to pay $4,750 and do 50 hours of community service. But Bernfeld told the court that his punishment doesn’t go far enough.
“This act of violence has greater implications than the physical injuries I sustained,’ Bernfeld said. “The long-lasting effects of this assault will remain with me. Mr. Hirsch’s plea, however, provides that in 90 days his case will be dismissed without record. There is no assurance that he will serve any of the 15 days of jail time associated with his plea.
“Quite simply, this punishment does not fit the crime. While the Park City Police Department treated me with courtesy and respect, this plea deal meets the bare minimum required to placate the regulations of our legal system. If a violent attack in front of a roomful of witnesses can be labeled a misdemeanor and dismissed, what of women who are assaulted while alone in hallways or bathrooms, or behind the closed doors of their own homes.
“While I appreciate that the court is trying to send a message to Mr. Hirsch, the message to him and those who may follow needs to be louder and stronger.”
Hirsch is best known for his starring role in ‘Into the Wild’ and has also appeared in the acclaimed gay film ’Milk’ and Universal’s Navy SEAL drama ‘Lone Survivor’.
As part of the deal, Hirsch was ordered not to drink alcohol or use drugs. He told the judge he will continue going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Hirsch, who has a young son, said he has grown up after going to rehab, learning the importance of “not just saying I’m sorry, but letting my actions line up with my words.”