Emile Hirsch has been charged with aggravated assault after allegedly choking a female film executive at last month’s Sundance Film Festival.
The actor, who is best known for his roles in Into the Wild and Milk, faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
According to court papers, Emile Hirsch assaulted the woman at a nightclub in Park City, Utah, in the early hours of January 25.
Prosecutors named the woman as Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for Insurge Pictures, part of Paramount Pictures.
Police were called to the club after Daniele Bernfeld reported being assaulted.
Daniele Bernfeld told police that Emile Hirsch approached her and asked her why she looked “so tough”, according to charging documents.
He also told the executive she was a “rich kid who should not be at Sundance”, the documents said.
Emile Hirsch is alleged to have initially grabbed Daniele Bernfeld before she pushed him away. The actor was then said to have grabbed her from behind.
The charging documents said Emile Hirsch 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.
The alleged victim said she felt as though “the front and back of her throat were touching”, adding that she may have temporarily blacked out.
Two bystanders apparently pulled Emile Hirsch away. A witness has backed up Daniele Bernfeld’s version of events, according to court documents.
Emile Hirsch told police he did not know the woman but was having an argument with her. He said he had had three or four drinks, and a police officer told prosecutors his balance was impaired and his speech slurred.
The actor has also been charged with a misdemeanor count of intoxication.
The star is due to appear in court on March 16.
Emile Hirsch is best known for his work with Sean Penn. He took the lead role in Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into the Wild and starred alongside him in Milk.
He also played the leading man in Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock in 2009.
Emile Hirsch was at Sundance for the premiere of the drama Ten Thousand Saints, in which he appears alongside Ethan Hawke and Asa Butterfield.
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A New York judge is hearing arguments over whether to disclose records of the secret grand jury proceedings in the case of black man Eric Garner who was killed by a white police officer.
The panel declined to bring charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo for putting Eric Garner in a chokehold that led to his death.
The prosecutor opposes the move, saying it will hamper witness co-operation.
Similar records were released for a Missouri grand jury investigating the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
St Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the records, with witness names redacted, after the jury declined to charge Officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson.
Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s death sparked protests across the US about police killings and police relations with black and other minority communities.
Eric Garner, 43, was stopped by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes in Staten Island in August and placed in a chokehold by Mr Pantaleo.
In a witness video, Eric Garner, who had asthma, is heard saying “I can’t breathe”. A city medical officer later ruled the death a homicide stemming from the effects of the chokehold.
The US justice department has launched a civil rights investigation in the case.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups who are suing cited the outcry over the Garner grand jury’s decision not to indict despite the video of the incident, as a compelling exception to the normal secrecy of the grand jury.
Disclosure is needed “to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system and to inform the current debate that has begun regarding the role of the grand jury as an instrument of justice or injustice” NYCLU argues in court documents.
The office of Richmond County District Attorney Daniel Donovan said grand jury witnesses in the case came forward to testify “with full assurances of secrecy”.
Making the records public, they argued, would bring an “inevitable result of harassment or retaliation” and a “chilling effect on the very type of witness cooperation that is most desired and the most difficult to obtain”.
Judge William Garnett will hear arguments in the case on Thursday.
The NYCLU cites the decision of Missouri prosecutors to release panel detail in the Wilson case as precedent, but Daniel Donovan says that was also the wrong decision.
News outlets, Daniel Donovan argued, compromised witness anonymity in Missouri by their reporting of the grand jury proceedings and the same could happen in New York.