Emile Hirsch faces felony charge post-Sundance altercation

Story highlights

  • Emile Hirsch charged with felony aggravated assault and intoxication after incident at Sundance
  • Legal papers allege that Hirsch choked a Paramount executive until she blacked out
  • The actor is due in court next month

(CNN)Emile Hirsch should have probably stuck to screening movies at Sundance.

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.
Legal papers allege that Hirsch had a verbal and physical altercation with Daniele Bernfeld -- a Paramount executive -- at TAO nightclub in Park City during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in January.
    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 of Bernfeld before police arrived. Some "redness" was seen around Bernfeld's neck, according to authorities.
    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.
    Hirsch is due in court on March 16.