April 17, 2006

Director reaches plea deal in L.A. wiretap case

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Die Hard" director John McTiernan,
the biggest Hollywood name indicted so far in the wiretapping
scandal involving one-time celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano,
has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, his lawyers told
a court on Monday.

No details of the agreement were made public and McTiernan,
who also directed such films as "Predator," "The Hunt for Red
October" and "The Thomas Crown Affair," declined comment as he
left federal court in Los Angeles.

He had been charged with a single count of making a false
statement to federal agents during an interview in which he
stated that he had no knowledge of any wiretapping conducted by
Pellicano and had never discussed wiretapping with Pellicano.

McTiernan was accused of hiring Pellicano to wiretap
producer Charles Roven, with whom he worked on the film
"Rollerball" in 2002. Court documents did not specify when
Roven's phones were tapped or why.

The director was expected back in court to formally enter a
guilty plea later in the day. He is free on $50,000 bail.

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. He 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 actors
Sylvester Stallone and Keith Carradine, and comedians Garry
Shandling and Kevin Nealon.