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Paul Schrader: 'I Lied to FBI About Hinckley'

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Jul 06, 2006 | 5:59am EDT

Hollywood filmmaker Paul Schrader has admitted lying to the FBI about whether John Hinckley Jr. had contacted him before his assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Hinckley shot and seriously wounded Reagan in the hopes of impressing actress Jodie Foster after becoming infatuated with her child prostitute character in Martin Scorsese's 1976 movie Taxi Driver, which Schrader wrote.

Immediately following the shooting, Schrader was questioned by the federal agents who asked if he had ever had any contact with Hinckley.

And even though Hinckley had written to Schrader, the writer/director told the FBI he had not heard anything from the gunman.

Schrader now claims he lied to avoid further scrutiny.

He says, "I've got a lot of respect for the FBI that day because they were really on it. They said, 'Have you heard from him (Hinckley), and if you have, have you heard any other names from him?'

"I knew that if I told the FBI, 'Yeah, I got a letter from him once but I threw it out,' I would be f**ked, my secretary would be f**ked. We'd have to be endlessly answering questions about a letter we've thrown out and don't remember.

"So I just said, 'No, I have never heard of him.'"

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