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'Survivor' Winner Richard Hatch Blames Tax Conviction on Being Gay

Richard Hatch, the first 'Survivor' reality TV series winner, who was convicted by a jury of criminal tax evasion for failing to pay federal income taxes on his winnings, publicly alleged that he was discriminated against for being gay during the prosecution of his case 

Hatch is trying to vacate his conviction, and gave an interview yesterday while still under home confinement.

But he was behind bars once again today, reportedly in a dispute over whether or not he secured permission from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to conduct interviews.

In a television interview (below), the 48-year-old Hatch said that he believes he was discriminated against during his trial because he is gay.

After serving his federal sentence, Hatch emphatically told the Today Show host Matt Lauer that "it's not true" that he failed to pay taxes.

Hatch charged that "to this day, I've never had an assessment" from the IRS for 2002 taxes.

He explained that, in his "personal opinion, the judge [was] trying to discriminate against me" by refusing to allow potential jurors to be questioned during voir dire about their feelings toward homosexuality.

In trying to vacate his sentence, Hatch asserts a variety of grounds for reversing his conviction, including that:

    • Survivor show producers, creators, and CBS allegedly promised to pay his taxes;
    • His trial lawyer was ineffective;
    • His sentence was improperly calculated; and
    • He "neither willfully evaded taxes, nor willfully filed a false return"

These days, Hatch wears an electronic tracking device, trying to vacate his conviction while under home confinement. The former Survivor show star is representing himself on a pro se basis now, acting as his own lawyer.

His application in the case is currently before a federal judge in Providence, Rhode Island.

You can read Hatch's motion to vacate and set aside his conviction here:

You watch Richard Hatch's interview with Today Show host Matt Lauer here:

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Photo credit: YouTube clip