Former Survivor winner Richard Hatch says he thinks he was sentenced to jail because he's gay.
Speaking out for the first time since serving nearly four years in prison for tax evasion, Hatch told Matt Lauer on Tuesday's Today that he thinks the judge in his case had a bias against him. The judge refused to let potential jurors be questioned about their feelings toward homosexuals.
"My personal opinion — he was trying to discriminate against me," Hatch said. "I don't think you or anyone else can deny that we, as homosexuals, face discrimination."
Hatch, who is under house arrest in Newport, R.I., until Oct. 7, also said he doesn't believe he would've gone to jail if he were a heterosexual and accused a prosecutor of what he called "egregious" misconduct. "I know without question that there are personal issues involved for the prosecutor," he said.
The prosecutor who oversaw the case, former U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, called Hatch's claims "delusional," the Associated Press reported.
Hatch, who said prison "reduced my arrogance," was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he won on the first season of Survivor. His case is currently being reviewed by a judge in Providence, and Hatch hopes to be exonerated.