Belfast Telegraph

Actor Hirsch appears before judge

Actor Emile Hirsch has made his first court appearance on allegations that he put a studio executive in a chokehold and dragged her across a nightclub table while he was in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival.

The "Into the Wild" star declined to comment outside court in Park City.

His attorney Neil Kaplan says Hirsch is receiving counselling after going to rehab.

The actor is charged with felony assault.

After a brief court appearance, Hirsch had to go next door to the sheriff's office to get his mug shot taken before he was released.

The woman he's accused of assaulting on January 25 is Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for the Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures.

Hirsch lawyer Robert Offer has said the actor had been drinking alcohol and doesn't remember the events.

Hirsch is best known for his starring role in Into the Wild. He also appeared in Universal's Navy SEAL drama Lone Survivor, Peter Berg's account of a disastrous 2005 military operation in Afghanistan.

Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama Ten Thousand Saints, a movie in which he appears alongside Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield.

Court documents say the altercation occurred at Tao Nightclub in Park City, when Hirsch, looking drunk, approached Bernfeld and asked why she looked "so tough".

He also said she was a "rich kid who should not be at Sundance," the documents say.

Investigators say Hirsch grabbed Bernfeld and she pushed him away. He left and sat with friends before coming back and grabbing the woman from behind, the documents say.

She was put in a chokehold and pulled across the table before Hirsch landed on top of her on the floor, authorities said.

Bernfeld told authorities she saw things going dark and might have blacked out momentarily.

Hirsch told police he didn't know Bernfeld but was having an argument with her.

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