Richard Hatch Went to Prison Because He’s Gay, Not Because He’s a Tax Cheat

It’s unclear why Survivor‘s first winner Richard Hatch is newsworthy again, but Today scored an EXCLUSIVE interview with him some 10 years after scoring the top prize in all his naked grandeur. After spending a few years in jail on tax evasion charges, Hatch now wears an electronic monitoring bracelet, and is back with new allegations: He was sent to jail because he’s a gay!

Yes, the judge who sentenced him had it out for him, sending him off to a maximum security prison alongside rapists and child molesters. He knows this because he wasn’t allowed to ask potential jurors if they were prejudiced against gays.

And maybe the judge was homophobic. But also: Hatch did not pay taxes on his $1 million winnings! Nor other income!

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  • Jaroslaw

    Please note: He didn’t say he wasn’t guilty of not paying his taxes, he said he went to jail because he is Gay. I didn’t follow this story closely at the time, but working in a different job, I now know that prosecutors have a lot of leeway in what they are going to charge people with, they can settle out of court, make payment arrangements etc.

    So the question now is do all or most people who do what he did go to jail or make payment arrangements?

  • mk

    In his circumstances I think jail was normal. He didn’t plead guilty, so there was no deal with the prosecution. It was a high profile case. He’d shown a pattern of avoiding taxes. He transparently lied repeatedly on the stand and kept trotting out far fetched conspiracy explanations for why he didn’t pay his taxes that involved blaming everyone but himself.

  • Fitz

    Plus he is a Rhode Islander, and it’s just good sense to put as many of them in jail as possible.

  • Charles Merrill

    Queerty, thanks for publishing this. Very harsh sentence. Compare him to Martha Stewart or the Queen of Mean who cheated the government out of much more money. Both got CLUB FED for six months. I think he has an argument about being discriminated against for being gay by the judge and prosecution. The difference between my case and his is that I stated I want to pay taxes as soon as DOMA is repealed, and I will. They won’t get a penny until then. (IRS says I owe over $2.000,000.00 in back taxes). I also have a very compassionate judge and IRS lawyer, both women. I am also 75 years old making a stand for LGBT civil rights. My Failure to file is a misdeameanor. He filed 1040’s and lied which is a felony.

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