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The Director Of Die Hard Is In Federal Prison

Submitted by on May 28, 2013 – 12:27 pmOne Comment

File this under strange: John McTiernan, the director of such classic Hollywood blockbusters as Die Hard and The Hunt For Red October, is currently serving a year in federal prison. But he didn’t evade taxes, get busted for drugs, or even get caught up in some grisly murder scheme: he may have just run afoul of an overeager prosecutor and a sloppy FBI investigation into a crooked private detective.

In 2006, a federal investigation indicted a Hollywood private investigator named Anthony Pellicano on over a hundred charges including wiretapping and conspiracy. Pellicano was also in possession of grenades and C4 explosives. Pellicano had a contact book full of A-list clients, and the case was expected to bring down some of the biggest names in Hollywood. But it never did.

McTiernan had in fact hired Pellicano at least twice: during a divorce, and during the contentious making of Rollerball.

All of McTiernan’s problems seem to stem from a phone call between himself and an FBI agent in February 2006. (It’s very unusual for FBI agents to talk to witnesses over the phone.) What was discussed is unclear, and McTiernan and his defense team have revised their version of the events.

But the FBI claims that McTiernan lied about his connections with Pellicano, and he was arrested weeks later. McTiernan plead guilty to lying to a federal agent.

But things got much worse when McTiernan withdrew his guilty plea. The prosecution claimed that submitting a guilty plea and then withdrawing it constitutes perjury, and added more charges.

It gets weirder: the lawyer prosecuting McTierney is a former actor, and the defense has alleged he may have auditioned for The Hunt For Red October. The prosecutor, Daniel Saunders, strongly denies this.

A roster of all-star supporters including Alec Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ed Asner have rallied to support McTierney, saying that even if there was some wrongdoing, the case smacks of prosecutorial overreach.

What do you think?

[via Buzzfeed; image by 20th Century Fox]

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