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Hollywood Director McTiernan Sentenced to 4 Months in Prison


A federal judge Monday sentenced Hollywood director John McTiernan to four months in prison, after refusing to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea to charges of lying to the FBI about his association with disgraced private eye Anthony Pelicano.

Judge Dale S. Fischer gave the director of such films as Die Hard and The Thomas Crown Affair until January 15 to turn himself in to authorities.

McTiernan's attorney, Milton Grimes, said he would appeal.

McTiernan was also ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. When entering his guilty plea last year, McTiernan said he lied when he told an FBI agent the only time he used Pelicano's services was during a divorce. In actuality, he said, he hired Pelicano to wiretap Charles Roven, with whom he had worked on the 2002 box office flop "Rollerball."

Pelicano, who served two-and-a-half years in federal prison for possessing illegal weapons, pleaded not guilty to charges in a 111-count indictment accusing him of bugging phones and bribing police to obtain information on celebrities and others.

McTiernan was originally scheduled to be sentenced two weeks ago. That hearing was delayed after his lawyer asked that he be allowed to withdraw the plea and fight the charge. Grimes said at the time that McTiernan hadn't had adequate legal representation when he entered the plea.

On Monday, the judge rejected defense claims that McTiernan was tired and taking medication for a sinus infection when he spoke to the FBI agent.

"I find these arguments completely lacking in credibility," she said.

Grimes said outside court he was disappointed in Fischer's ruling and would appeal. He disagreed with Fischer's observation that McTiernan "lived a privileged life and simply wants to continue that."

Speaking of McTiernan, Grimes said "he's probably one of the most down-to-earth people I've met in Hollywood in my 30 years of working here."

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