John McTiernan is a brilliant action movie director, one of the best the cinema has ever seen. He’s responsible for Die Hard, which all by itself would have earned him a place in cinematic history. But he’s also responsible for two other little movies, Predator and The Hunt For Red October.
Now, unfortunately, he’s languishing in Federal prison, all because he answered the phone. The story is a little complicated, but it boils down to the Feds calling him up and asking him questions without properly identifying themselves, then prosecuting him for a False Statement felony for not telling the truth to a complete stranger. You can read his wife’s statement, relating their many and varied abuses of power, here.
John did nothing wrong. The Federal case was completely trumped up solely to coerce information from him, information he didn’t have. For that, they dragged him through court, wasted 7 years of his life, then threw him in jail. (Where, apparently, he isn’t doing very well.)
McTiernan’s last movie was in 2003. Since then, he’s been curb stomped by the FBI. Repeatedly. He’s lost time, money, and peace of mind.
I can only hope that, when he is released from prison, he can recover from the ordeal and get back to making kick-ass action movies.
UPDATE: Buzzfeed has a story that covers the nitty-gritty of the FBI investigation.