Director John McTiernan, of Die Hard, Predator, and paying Anthony Pellicano to illegally wiretap his Rollerball producing partner fame, was today sentenced to four months in jail after a judge decided not to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea based on his new attorney's attempted "my client was too jet-lagged/drunk/medicated to know what he was saying when that FBI agent grilled him" defense, according to the LAT:
But with new counsel, McTiernan sought to withdraw his guilty plea on the grounds that he was jet-lagged and under the influence of alcohol and medications when he was questioned by the agent. McTiernan's attorneys also insisted that their client did not understand the consequences of denying his involvement with Pellicano and that his lie, while serious, did not rise to the level of a crime, and should not have been charged as a felony.
Federal prosecutors, however, argued — and Fischer agreed — that McTiernan was fully aware of the consequences of his actions when he spoke to the FBI a year ago. There was no evidence that he had received inadequate legal advice before hiring new attorneys to strike down his plea, Fischer ruled.
The judge also said that McTiernan's actions since his guilty plea were not those of a person sorry for his crime and eager to assist the government, as his plea agreement required. To the contrary, she said, McTiernan has taken on the demeanor of someone "still incensed" that he was ever charged in the case.
"He has shown no remorse, just excuses," the judge said.
Fischer also rejected claims by McTiernan's attorneys that he has suffered from depression in his life and that his crime did not justify a prison sentence.
"He will certainly not be the only depressed man in custody," she said.
Perhaps things are not quite as dark as they might initially seem for McTiernan, as his "stunned" legal team has already announced its intentions to appeal; while a higher court will probably agree that he "will certainly not be the only depressed man in custody," maybe it will cut him some slack by conceding that any career in Hollywood that lasts long enough to tally $600 million in domestic grosses deprives a person of the ability to properly express remorse, as counterproductive feelings of guilt are delegated to assistants with generous "I'm sorry" muffin-basket expense accounts after a director's first number-one film.