John McTiernan, director of “The Hunt for Red October” and “Die Hard,” was charged Monday with lying to the FBI in the Hollywood wire-tap investigation surrounding celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano.
McTiernan, who also produced and directed “Die Hard 3” and ”Rollerball,” became the 14th defendant to face charges in a far-reaching federal case that has become a major Hollywood scandal and threatens to spill the motion picture community’s secrets.
The 55-year-old filmmaker was charged with a single count of making false statements to federal agents and ordered to appear in court on April 17. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
The two-page charging document accuses McTiernan of lying to the FBI when he told agents during an interview that “he had no knowledge of any wiretapping conducted by Anthony Pellicano and had never discussed wiretapping with Anthony Pellicano.”
“In fact, as defendant McTiernan well knew, he had hired and paid Anthony Pellicano to conduct a wiretapping of Charles Roven, and Anthony Pellicano had discussed with defendant McTiernan his interception of Charles Roven’s telephone calls and the information that Anthony Pellicano had obtained from that wiretap,” the court papers say.
The documents do not elaborate on the eavesdropping, but Roven is a Hollywood producer who worked with McTiernan on the film “Rollerball.” Prosecutors declined to comment on the charges.
Pellicano, who has worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, was charged in February in a 110-count racketeering and conspiracy indictment, which alleges he illegally wiretapped and obtained the confidential records of performers, journalists and business executives.
He has pleaded not guilty to the indictment, which was returned just before he completed a 30-month term in federal prison for firearms violations.
The former private detective faces up to 20 years behind bars on each of the racketeering charges.
Among those whose privacy he is accused of breaching through wiretaps or illicit database searches were entertainers Sylvester Stallone, Garry Shandling, Kevin Nealon and Keith Carradine.
Terry Christensen, a partner in a law form that has represented such entertainers as Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Sean Connery and Kim Basinger, was indicted on charges of hiring Pellicano to eavesdrop on the ex-wife of his longtime client, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian.