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Emile Hirsch Charged with Felony Assault for Alleged Sundance Attack

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Kate Stanhope

Emile Hirsch has been charged with felony assault for allegedly attacking a female Hollywood executive at a party during the Sundance Film Festival last month, TMZ reports.

Police responded to an assault call at around 3:52 a.m. on Jan. 25 at Tao nightclub in Park City, Utah. According to law enforcement, "Hirsch appeared intoxicated and asked why she looked 'so tough' and said she was a 'rich kid' who should not be at Sundance."

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Bernfeld told authorities she distanced herself from Hirsch to sit with a friend at a table. Moments later, Hirsch came up from behind her and "put her in a chokehold." He then "pulled her across the table and onto the floor" and landed on top of her.

While he was on top of her, Hirsch allegedly wrapped his hands around her neck and began to choke her. She said she felt like "the front and back of her throat were touching and she remembers things going dark."

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Two bystanders eventually pulled Hirsch off of her. When Hirsch spoke with police at the scene, he claimed he was involved in a "verbal confrontation" with Bernfeld and admitted he had three or four drinks that evening. However, officials said he appeared to be very intoxicated, and had glassy eyes, slurred speech, and poor balance. Police also noticed that Bernfeld had redness on her neck and upper chest.

Hirsch has been charged with third degree felony aggravated assault as well as misdemeanor intoxication. He faces up to five years in prison. He is due in court on March 16.

His spokesperson, Robert Offer, expressed regret over the incident and said Hirsch is currently in rehab. "Regarding the charges that have been brought against Emile today, the facts that I can relay are that he consumed an enormous amount of alcohol on the evening in question and he has no memory of what happened," Offer told TMZ. "Emile takes these allegations very seriously, and is devastated that any of this has occurred. A few days after the incident, Emile sought help and checked himself into an alcohol rehabilitation facility, where he remains today, to ensure nothing like this ever happens again."