John McTiernan, best known as the director of such films as “Die Hard,” “Predator,” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” was sentenced to one year in prison for lying about hiring a private investigator to illegally wiretap a movie producer, according to the Associated Press. He pleaded guilty to one count of perjury and two counts of making false statements. Besides his one year in prison, McTiernan will be forced to pay $100,000 and be on probation for three years.
This all comes because of private investigator to the stars Anthony Pellicano. Pellicano is famously known for bugging celebrities’ phones to get information. Pellicano was convicted of wiretapping a producer for McTiernan. This is not the first celebrity to use Pellicano’s services, but it is the first to be punished for it.
Anthony Pellicano is known as the private investigator who could fix anything for anybody for the right price. He would wiretap phones of Hollywood producers and celebrities in order to dig some dirt up on them for the celebrity who was paying them for it. Pellicano even had the police under his wing. A former police detective, Mark Arneson, checked celebrity police records for him, according to The New York Times.
When Pellicano was charged of 76 federal criminal charges in 2008, many thought that the celebrities he helped would go down with him too. This was not the case, according to the Los Angeles Times. Studio chief Brad Grey and celebrity lawyer Bert Fields were all just questioned in the case, never charged. So the sentence for McTiernan is a first, but probably not the last celebrity to finally be held accountable for their role in the Pellicano wiretap case.
Probably the most notable celebrity who is connected to the Anthony Pellicano case is comedian Chris Rock. He testified in the case that he hired Pellicano to investigate a model who claimed that she was pregnant with his child, according to Fox News. However, Rock then claimed that he had no idea about the tactics that Pellicano used to obtain his information. This has had no effect on Rock’s career, and he was never indicted on any counts associated with this case.
McTiernan will serve his year in prison and probably be out making movies again right after. The only person who seems to have been affected by this case is Pellicano himself. McTiernan’s career will not be negatively affected by his case.
Associated Press, “‘Die Hard’ Director Sentenced in Wiretap Case” The Wall Street Journal
David M. Halbfinger, “Pellicano on Pellicano: He Was No Mastermind” The New York Times
Carla Hall, Tami Abdollah, “Private eye to the stars is guilty” Los Angeles Times
Associated Press, “Chris Rock Testifies He Hired Anthony Pellicano After Woman Said She Was Pregnant” Fox News