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VIDEO: Richard Hatch - Surviving Tax Evasion

Aug. 18 2009, Published 2:35 p.m. ET

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Survivor winner Richard Hatch may have been one million dollars richer after winning the first network reality series, but the man best remembered

for running around naked on the show, now finds himself "financially devastated". 

Currently serving the remainder of his four-year sentence for tax evasion under house arrest in Newport, RI, Richard Hatch sat down with The Today Show's Matt Lauer for his first exclusive interview on Tuesday.  The reality star you loved to hate on Survivor told Lauer his conviction was based on his onscreen arrogant persona and his homosexuality.

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"I don't think you or any one else can deny that we as homosexuals face discrimination."

Lauer went on to say people perceived him as "stupid" for winning a million dollars on television and not claiming it on his taxes in which he cleared

up the perception but not the issue.

"I know people think I'm arrogant, but I don't think people think I'm stupid.  People watched me play that game and they know I'm relatively

Matt Lauer


Hatch's  case is currently under review in Providence in which he expects to be exonerated but he finds himself in dire straights with no means for

income with all of his winnings going to legal fees.

"Imagine the financial devastation that money was in 2000.  Today is now 2009.  And to be removed from your family for four years, taken away from any opportunities to make a dime - No, I'm financially devastated."

However, Hatch promises to pay whatever is owed to the IRS.  In the meantime, he will live out his sentence with an ankle bracelet at his

sister's home.



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