'Die Hard' director released from jail

Posted at 02/28/14 12:59 AM

LOS ANGELES - "Die Hard" director John McTiernan was released from prison Tuesday after nearly a year behind bars in connection with a wire-tapping scandal, his wife said.

Tiernan, whose films also include "The Hunt for Red October" and "The Thomas Crown Affair," was freed from prison in Yankton, South Dakota, his wife Gail told AFP, giving no further details immediately.

He spent 328 days in jail, according to a "Free John McTiernan" Facebook page last updated shortly before his release. He was jailed last April.

McTiernan has already signed to direct an action movie, "Red Squad" following his release, according to industry journal Variety.

The filmmaker was sentenced to 12 months in jail and fined $100,000 in 2010, but he stayed free until last year pending appeals in the case, which stemmed from his hiring a private investigator to illegally wire-tap a producer.

Celebrity supporters, including "Pulp Fiction" star Samuel L. Jackson, voiced support for McTiernan, and the "Free John McTiernan" Facebook page had drawn over 10,000 likes by Tuesday.

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 later convicted and sentenced in October 2010.

McTiernan made the first "Die Hard" film in 1988 and the third, "Die Hard: With a Vengeance," in 1995, as well as 1990's "The Hunt for Red October." He did not make the other "Die Hard" movies, including last 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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