Die Hard director John McTiernan, the top Hollywood name to be charged in the Pellicano wiretapping case, appeared in court today on the charge of lying to the government and announced (though his lawyer) that he signed a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney. No details were reported in court. McTiernan was accused of hiring Pellicano to wiretap producer Charles Roven, with whom he worked on Rollerball.
* Back in court: McTiernan returned this afternoon and pleaded guilty to a single felony—lying to a federal agent. He could receive as much as five years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing July 31, but you gotta believe he will be testifying in upcoming trials in return for leniency. He is the sixth Hollywood figure so far to plead guilty in the spreading Pellicano case. (5:05 pm)
Elsewhere in Pellicano Land: Former LAT staffer Nikki Finke contrasts the New York Times and Los Angeles Times coverage of Pellicano so far and declares the NYT ahead: "I don't get it. This is a story in the LAT's backyard, not to mention the biggest scandal to trip up and titillate Hollywood in recent memory...True, the LAT has done a better job covering the impact of the scandal on the Los Angeles legal community as well as on the local citizenry who've found themselves victimized. But there's no juice in that stuff. Instead, the NYT has concentrated all its effort on the big Hollywood names who now find themselves central figures in the Pelican Flap: Michael Ovitz, Bert Fields, and, most recently, Brad Grey. The result has been a buzzorama for the New York paper."
Also: Finke makes a case that the LAT Calendar section is hemorrhaging movie ads