Wonder what year Richard Hatch thinks it is.
Just saying, because the inaugural Survivor winner thinks he was sentenced to more than four years in prison because he's gay.
The convicted income-tax evader, who was busted for not giving Uncle Sam his due of that $1 million grand prize, continued to maintain his innocence Tuesday on Today, telling Matt Lauer that he faced discrimination from both the prosecutor and judge during his 2006 trial.
"I know, without question, that there are personal issues involved for the prosecutor—I don't know why," Hatch said, as the ankle-monitor-wearing felon and Lauer toodled around his sister's Newport, R.I., home, where he's serving out the rest of his 51-month sentence on house arrest.
"The prosecutorial misconduct has been egregious," he said. Hatch also reiterated his issues with the judge, who, according to Hatch, refused to let members of the jury be questioned about their feelings toward homosexuals.
When asked whether he really meant to suggest that he got prison time because he was a gay reality-TV star, Hatch answered in no uncertain terms.
"I didn't mean to allude to it," he said. "I meant to state that definitively. Yeah, I do, I do believe that. I don't think you or anyone else could deny that we as homosexuals face discrimination. "
Well yeah, sometimes, but...
Before he was sentenced he was in fact convicted of failing to pay taxes on nearly $1.5 million in winnings/earnings (including the Survivor prize) and could have ended up behind bars for 13 years.
So theoretically, he caught a break.
Not that Hatch will ever see it that way, though. Not only does he maintain his innocence of any wrongdoing, the former corporate trainer and real-estate agent claims that he is "financially devastated."
"Imagine the financial devastation," he told Lauer. "To have been removed from your family for the past four years, taken away from any opportunity to make a dime."
The latest pair of indignities he's had to face: In April, a judge wouldn't allow him to make plans to move to Argentina with his husband, and last month he was denied the opportunity to participate in a 10th-anniversary Survivor special in Samoa.
"I'll let the facts speak for themselves," Hatch said. "It's not me playing the system. That's what I said in the beginning, that I didn't think of life after Survivor as a game. I'm not out to play anything."
Hatch may say he's innocent, but a conviction in a court of law is enough to land him in our Guilty Gallery.