'Die Hard' Director John McTiernan Has Until April 3 to Surrender in Pellicano Case

DOWN: John McTiernan

The "Die Hard" director loses his appeal in the Anthony Pellicano case, meaning he could head to jail for a year for his role in the Hollywood wiretap scandal.

John McTiernan, who directed such hit movies as Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October, is being given until April 3 to surrender and begin his prison sentence.

In 2010, McTiernan was given one year in prison and fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI in its investigation into the activities of Anthony Pellicano, the former Hollywood private detective whose spying endeavors have become famous.

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Because of appeals, McTiernan wasn't immediately sent to prison. The director got caught up in trouble for hiring Pellicano to tap the phones The Dark Knight Rises producer Chuck Roven, with whom McTiernan worked on the 2002 film Rollerball. His appeals centered upon a judge's decision not to suppress a digital recording where he discusses an illegal wiretap. In January, the Supreme Court refused to take up the case.

Although McTiernan has until April 3 to surrender, there's plenty of drama surrounding what will happen in the week leading up to that date.

He's been notified about a deposition he needs to give in one of the many ongoing lawsuits involving Pellicano's activities. That deposition is scheduled to happen April 1, but it was revealed at a hearing Monday that McTiernan has not told his lawyer whether he is going to show up.

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Meanwhile, Pellicano sits behind bars in a Texas prison. But he could be making his voice heard soon.

At Monday's hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Pellicano's efforts to communicate with the judge also was discussed.

Judge Elihu Berle said he had no interest of getting on the phone with Pellicano nor entertaining what he had to say via a letter. Instead, the judge indicated that if Texas prison officials are OK with it, he'd like to have Pellicano speak for himself in open court via a teleconference.

Pellicano is scheduled to serve about five more years in jail for racketeering and wiretapping. He's been pleading for an early jail release, and there's been word that he might have concerns about speaking up in depositions in the ongoing civil cases and possibly incriminating himself.

But it appears that Pellicano's time to speak is coming. Among the other outcomes from Monday's hearing, former Hollywood Reporter editor and later Los Angeles Times journalist Anita Busch's attorney is being given the opportunity to depose Pellicano separately from everyone else.

Busch is suing Pellicano and others for attempting to intimidate her. Among the defendants in Busch's lawsuit is former power agent Michael Ovitz, who recently failed to escape Busch's charges.

That case could be headed toward a big Hollywood courtroom showdown. A judge has just established a June 17 trial date.

E-mail: eriq.gardner@thr.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner