Director in the dock

Die hard director John McTiernan has until April 3 to surrender himself to serve a prison term handed down for lying to FBI agents, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 20 Mar 2013, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 7:50 AM

McTiernan, whose films also include The Hunt for Red October and The Thomas Crown Affair, was sentenced to 12 months in jail and fined $100,000 in 2010 for making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

But he stayed free pending appeals in the case, which stems from his hiring a private investigator to illegally wire-tap a producer. The US Supreme Court has refused to hear his case, leaving him with the deadline to surrender.

Celebrity supporters including Pulp Fiction star Samuel L. Jackson have voiced support for McTiernan, and a “Free John McTiernan” Facebook page has drawn some 2,800 likes.

“We’re trying to show support to the great John McTiernan,” said a message re-tweeted on Jackson’s Twitter account this week.

In an initial 2006 guilty plea, McTiernan admitted hiring private investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap film producer Charles Roven after they worked on the 2002 Rollerball, and then lying to FBI agents about it.

Shortly afterwards he sought to reverse his plea, claiming he was drunk and jetlagged, but he was sentenced to four months in jail and fined $100,000. In 2008, an appeal court allowed his not guilty plea and quashed the fine.

But in 2009 he was indicted by a federal grand jury on new charges, for which he was sentenced in October 2010.

McTiernan made the first Die Hard film in 1988 and the third, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, in 1995, but not 1990’s Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Live Free or Die Hard in 2007 or this year’s A Good Day to Die Hard.

Pellicano, who was convicted of 78 felonies at two separate trials in 2008, is currently serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison.

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