'Die Hard' director begins serving 12-month prison sentence

April 4, 2013 at 7:14 AM ET

Reuters /
John McTiernan.

"Die Hard" director John McTiernan surrendered to federal authorities Wednesday to begin serving his 12-month prison sentence for his role in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping scandal. He has been taken to a federal prison in North Dakota.

McTiernan, 62, lost an appeal last August of a 2010 sentence and turned himself in on the last day possible. A judge had given him the option of surrendering earlier but he did not do so.

McTiernan was found guilty of two counts of making false statements to the FBI and one count of perjury for lying to a federal judge during the period when he wanted to withdraw his earlier guilty plea. The filmmaker was found to have lied about ordering Pellicano, then Hollywood’s most successful private detective, to illegally wiretap producer Chuck Roven while the two were involved in the remake of the movie Rollerball in 2002.

Besides going to prison, McTiernan faces three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

McTiernan has called his conviction in the case a miscarriage of justice and claims he was not aware he was speaking with an FBI agent when making the statements. His wife tells THR she believes the punishment was too severe.

"There was only one false statement," Gail McTiernan says. "He said he had hired Pellicano only one time. Actually he hired him twice. And he said that to a stranger over the phone. Hardly something deserving of a year in prison, a $100,000 fine and seven years of harassment in my humble opinion."

Besides "Die Hard," McTiernan’s movie credits include "The Hunt for Red October," the "Thomas Crown Affair," "Predator" and "Last Action Hero."

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