18 Aug 2015

Emile Hirsch jailed for assaulting film exec

11:43 am on 18 August 2015

US actor Emile Hirsch has been sentenced to 15 days in jail after pleading guilty to assaulting a female film executive during the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January.

US actor Emile Hirsch will spend 15 days in jail after admitting an assault on a female film executive.

US actor Emile Hirsch will spend 15 days in jail after admitting an assault on a female film executive. Photo: AFP

The Into The Wild, Speed Racer and Milk star was given the 15-day jail term and 50 hours of community service as part of a plea deal agreed with the prosecutors.

He was also fined $US4,750.

Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for Insurge Pictures, told police Hirsch grabbed her in a chokehold at a nightclub in Park City.

The plea deal agreed on Monday means Hirsch managed to avoid the maximum jail sentence of five years. He was told the charges would be dropped if he completed his sentence.

He was slurring his words and struggling to balance after having three or four drinks at the time of the assault, according to public court documents seen by the Associated Press news agency.

But county attorney Robert Hilder said on Monday he had been sober since the incident on 25 January and showed remorse on a number of occasions.

Ms Bernfeld, for her part, said the plea deal did not go far enough, saying the attack had caused her long-term damage. In a statement read out in court, she said she thought she "was going to die" when Hirsch was choking her.

She said the actor grabbed her from behind, put her in a chokehold, pulled her across the table and landed on top of her on the floor, putting his hands around her throat.

Hirsch is best known for his work with Sean Penn. He took the lead role in Penn's 2007 film Into the Wild and starred alongside him in Milk. He also appeared in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock in 2009.

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

- BBC