The moviemaker pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers who were probing jailed Hollywood private detective Anthony Pellicano.
McTiernan admitted hiring Pellicano to illegally record movie producer Charles Roven's phone conversations and lying to authorities about it, and a judge sentenced him to a year behind bars on Monday (04Oct10).
The director is free on bail as he appeals the sentence and in his first interview since the ruling, he insists he is not scared of jail but he's adamant he does not deserve the harsh punishment.
He tells the Hollywood Reporter, "We're already filing the papers. I've already paid the appeals lawyer. I didn't start this (appeal) because I was afraid to go to jail. It would have been much easier to go to jail. And less expensive. And some of the minimum-security prison camps are not bad, and there are actually interesting people there. And I have managed to live my life not being too afraid of new experiences, including going off to a federal prison for four months. That isn't why I started this fight. I started because these people have less respect for the law than they accuse me of having."
And McTiernan is convinced the case has had a devastating effect on his Hollywood career.
He adds, "I had worked for two years on one (movie), and then all of this came up just as we were about to start it... This has destroyed three other films. Just on the insurance issue. For insurance on a movie, they need you to be able to guarantee 18 months."