August 19, 2009 11:54 AM
Can "Survivor" Winner Richard Hatch Survive Jail...Again?
Photo: Richard Hatch, the first winner of "Survivor."
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) The sister of "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch says she thinks her brother was sent back to jail because he granted an interview.
Kristin Hatch said that when a sheriff's deputy came to bring her brother to the Barnstable County Jail in Massachusetts on Tuesday, she overheard him say that Hatch was being jailed because "he did an interview."
"Today" show host Matt Lauer and Hatch both said they had received permission from the federal Bureau of Prisons to do the Tuesday interview, in which Hatch said he believes the judge in his tax evasion case discriminated against him because he's gay. He also accused a prosecutor of misconduct.
Hatch also gave interviews to WPRO-FM radio and WJAR-TV in Providence.
A Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman couldn't immediately be reached Wednesday.
Hatch, 48, had been staying at his sister's Newport, R.I. house with a monitoring device while on home confinement. His arrest came three months after he was released into home confinement and just hours after he spoke publicly for the first time since he got out of federal prison.
Hatch's lawyer, Cynthia Ribas, said Wednesday she still had not been given an explanation as to why he was arrested.
Hatch was convicted in 2006 for not paying taxes on the $1 million prize he won on the CBS reality show's first season. He was sentenced to extra prison time for lying on the stand.
Photo: Richard Hatch holds his million-dollar prize after winning CBS "Survivor."
In court papers filed earlier this year, Hatch complained of widespread prejudice in the justice system against gay people.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said Hatch's claims are baseless, and in a May court filing prosecutors pointed out that Hatch offered no evidence to support a claim that he was prosecuted because he is gay.
Former U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, whose office oversaw the case, told WPRO-AM that Hatch is "delusional."
The judge in the case is now retired.
Hatch is due to be released from home confinement on Oct. 7, but he has asked a judge to release him immediately for a variety of reasons, including because he was represented by ineffective lawyers.
He said Tuesday that he has been financially devastated by his tax case.