Die Hard director sentenced to one year in prison
Director John McTiernan has been sentenced to one year in prison for his involvement in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandal, ending nearly four years of appeals and legal back-and-forth that had kept him out on bail since he first pled guilty in April 2006. McTiernan—whose film credits include Die Hard (as well as Die Hard With A Vengeance), Predator, The Hunt For Red October, Last Action Hero, and a remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, among others—was charged with lying to federal agents about his association with Pellicano, who had been convicted of tapping the phones of dozens of celebrities. Although initially admitting to the lie in court, he later attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, a bid that was denied in 2007; after receiving a four month prison sentence, McTiernan then set about filing the nearly three years’ worth of appeals that, until today, had kept him out of jail.
In 2008, McTiernan was allowed a new hearing, but this past June, he lost a motion to suppress evidence—namely, a taped phone conversation in which McTiernan discusses paying Pellicano $50,000 to tap the phone of producer Charles Roven. That led to him losing his second hearing today, with the judge handing down a $100,000 fine, three years’ probation, and a year in federal prison—a sentence the judge said should have been harsher, since “the defendant doesn't think the law applies to him.” Just a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that McTiernan would direct a new action film called Shrapnel in addition to the already-in-production The Camel Wars. We’re guessing those will be put on hold now, unless he’s going to somehow pull a Phil Spector and do the directing from prison.