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

The “Into the Wild” star declined to comment Monday outside court in Park City.

His attorney Neil Kaplan said Hirsch is receiving counseling after going to rehab.

The actor from Encino, California, is charged with felony assault, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He also faces a misdemeanor count of intoxication.

After his brief appearance before state Judge Kara Petitt, Hirsch was instructed to walk next door to the sheriff’s office to get his mug shot taken. He isn’t required to be at the next hearing, set for April 13.

Hirsch may also be excused from other upcoming hearings, a concession often granted to out-of-state defendants who are cooperating, said Summit County prosecutor Ryan Stack. Stack said he had no comment on a possible plea deal.

The woman Hirsch is accused of assaulting on Jan. 25 is Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for the Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures.

Efforts to reach Bernfeld and her employer were unsuccessful.

— From new service reports


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