Emile Hirsch Appears In Court: Will He Do Jail Time?

(AP Photo/Summit County Sheriff's Department)

(AP Photo/Summit County Sheriff’s Department)

There is no denying the talent of Emile Hirsch. Sadly, the law may deny his talent for up to five years if he’s convicted of felony assault.

Emile showed up to a court appearance in Park City, UT, clean-shaven, sober and donning a suit and tie. He is charged with felony assault for putting a drunken beat-down on one of Paramount’s young executives at a party stemming from the Sundance Film Festival in January. The really sad thing about the entire fiasco? It was Daniele “Dani” Bernfeld.

You’re probably already familiar with that aspect of the story, but if you’re not: Emile approached Dani at the Tao nightclub in Park City, and began drunkenly berating her presence. He called her several things, and insinuated she didn’t belong there, because she was a rich kid who wouldn’t know good film if it bit her on the backside–that she was only in her position of power because of who she knows.

Is this true? This entire industry is about who you know… but, no, Dani is incredibly well-respected in the industry. Maybe a drunk Emile got her confused for someone else… or had an ax to grind. Either way, after she left the one-sided conversation, Emile attacked her from behind, pulled her over a table, slammed her on the ground and began choking her to the point she almost blacked out.

The story was all the buzz in Tinseltown following the incident, but Emile was able to delay some of the proceedings as he immediately checked himself into a rehabilitation facility.

If found guilty, he could face a $5,000 fine (most likely), and up to five years in prison. In an age where violence against women is a hot-button, it’ll be interesting to see how much leniency he’ll receive. Obviously, he’s not going to serve five years in prison, but he could serve a lengthy probationary term, which will include a lot of court mandated classes and community service.


James Sheldon