Survivor winner seeks release from prison

March 26, 2009 4:49:51 PM PDT
"Survivor" winner Richard Hatch wants a judge to free him immediately from a federal prison for evading taxes on the $1 million prize he won on the debut season of the CBS reality series, according to court documents. [SIGN UP: Get entertainment news sent to you]

Hatch, who is representing himself, filed the request Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence. He is now serving a four-year and three-month sentence at a prison in West Virginia.

The reality TV star argued in a 43-page memo that he should be released because he is innocent, was represented by ineffective lawyers and that a judge improperly calculated his prison sentence.

"Hatch's portrayal on 'Survivor' and his media-concocted caricature as villainous and manipulative continue to unfairly bleed into legal proceedings and wield unjust influence," Hatch said.

U.S. District Court Judge William Smith has not yet ruled on the request.

Prosecutors will respond to Hatch's motion in the coming weeks, said Tom Connell, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider Hatch's appeal.

Hatch is best known for the scheming that helped him divide and conquer fellow contestants and shedding his clothes on the CBS reality TV show. Late night comedian David Letterman famously dubbed him the "the fat naked guy."

Since his trial, Hatch has claimed the show was rigged.

Hatch attorney's told a judge outside the presence of the jury that Hatch did not pay income taxes on his $1 million prize because he caught producers sneaking food to other contestants. When Hatch confronted them about the cheating, show officials offered to pay his incomes taxes if he won.

In his recent filing, Hatch faulted his attorneys for not making that argument to the jury and failing to call other witnesses whom Hatch said could have verified the deal.

CBS has long denied Hatch's cheating allegations.

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