Belfast Telegraph

Emile Hirsch: 'I'm still remorseful over assault incident'

The actor has turned his life around following his Sundance Film Festival scandal

Emile Hirsch is still in shock after he was convicted of assaulting a film executive at the Sundance Film Festival last year (15).

The Into the Wild star pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour assault charge and was sentenced to 15 days in jail for attacking Paramount Pictures executive Daniele Bernfeld at an afterparty in Utah. Emile entered rehab after the incident and he is now opening up about how it treatment has helped him.

"I'm still just so sorry for what happened and still just shocked even that it happened," he tells Josh Horowitz on his Happy Sad Confused podcast. "(I'm) also, grateful in a way that, you know, it gave me an opportunity to make my life a lot better.

"I went to rehab. I was able to really clean that side of myself up. Just discovering... problems with alcohol and bingeing on alcohol and other drugs. These are problems that I was able to see a lot of people face, and maybe I didn't quite realise that before or identify that in that way."

The help he received has improved his role as a father to his three-year-old son, Valor.

"Just getting that handled in my life just improved my life in so many ways, as difficult and as unfortunate as that whole thing was," he adds. "I'm grateful that I was able to really move forward and improve my life for my son. I'm just so much more present and there for him and that means so much to me. And the quality of just days and not waking up hungover and not knowing what happened or something like that. The stuff is strong.

"I've talked to a lot of people and there's a lot of people who struggle with addiction, and if anything positive can come of it, it would just be getting a little bit more awareness because sometimes you need to hear someone say something about it and be like, 'Your life doesn't have to be this way...

"Being in rehab and then jail afterwards I was able to see that it didn't matter if you were an actor or a bar hand or whatever," he adds. "A lot of people would have problems in that world. It's sort of an equalizer you could say."

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