At the Sundance Film Festival this past year, Lords of Dogtown and Into the Wild actor Emile Hirsch was accused of aggravated assault after reportedly putting Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures executive, Daniele Bernfeld, into a headlock then body-slammed her at Tao Nightclub on January 25.
According to Huffington Post, Hirsch was intoxicated and on medications when he verbally and physically attacked Bernfeld, and does not recall the events of the night.
After being initially charged with a felony, Utah Summit County prosecutor Robert Hilder lessened the charges to misdemeanor assault. Hirsch plead guilty to the charges and apologized for his actions stating:
I know it was completely wrong and reckless and irresponsible. I have no excuses for not remembering. I put those chemicals inside me.
Bernfeld was not in attendance at the hearing but made a statement, sent by Los Angeles attorney Don Etra, regarding the attack and the court's decision to lessen the charges, which was read in court saying:
It took two people to pull him off me, and if not for their intervention, the attack would have continued. I thought I was going to die.
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?
Hirsch's deal with prosecutors results in the actor spending 15 days in jail, 50 hours of “meaningful” community service, staying clean of all drugs and alcohol while continuing to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and a $4,750 fine.
(Source: Huffington Post)