'Survivor' Winner Richard Hatch Talks About Prison

Friday, March 16th 2007, 10:55 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Richard Hatch, who won $1 million on ``Survivor,'' says being in prison for failing to pay taxes on his reality TV prize and other income is no day at the beach.

Hatch, who became known as the ``naked fat guy'' for refusing to wear clothes for much of the CBS show, was convicted last year. He was sentenced to 51 months in prison, and is at the Federal Correctional Institution in Morgantown, W.Va., a minimum security facility.

``Obviously, this is better than the county lockup,'' Hatch tells People magazine in its March 26 issue. ``There's no fence here. But people think I've come to a country club. It's not. This is prison. Just because it's got a beautiful view of the countryside doesn't make it a resort. And it's horrendous because I'm an innocent man in jail.''

Following his conviction, Hatch says he spent ``six horrendous months'' at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Mass.

``We were all in a small room _ 52 people: child molesters, murderers, rapists and me,'' he recalls. ``For six months I never left that room. There were no doors, no privacy. There were two TVs in that room, so I lived all day long with `Jerry Springer' blaring.''

His lawyer, Michael Minns, has said Hatch deserves a new trial because a judge improperly kept him from testifying about claims of cheating on the show.

CBS, a division of CBS Corp., has said Hatch's claims have no merit.

``I don't apologize for anything,'' says Hatch, who said he is looking forward to returning to his home and family in Rhode Island. ``I didn't do anything wrong.''

Hatch says he is ``working on a book that I should have no trouble getting published. It begins with my auditioning for `Survivor' and will end with my time in prison.''