Survivor Creator Mark Burnett on Alleged Leak Russell Hantz: I Don't Know If It's True
Survivor creator Mark Burnett says he doesn't know if Russell Hantz leaked show results.
"I found out the same time you found out. I read it online," Burnett told reporters on a conference call Thursday. "I had no idea about it."
Survivor's Russell Hantz accused of leaking show secrets
Earlier this month, Survivor message board commentator Jim Early told The Daily Beast that Hantz had leaked him spoilers and other secret information about Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.
Early said he was sued by Burnett's company, DJB. Inc, in August for prematurely publishing the names of eliminated contestants and other spoiler information. However, the lawsuit against Early was dismissed after he allegedly produced evidence proving Hantz, 38, to be the leak.
It remains unclear whether CBS plans to take action against Hantz, but the contractual penalty for violating these rules is "liquidated damages" of $5 million. Hantz took home $100,000 in 2009 after he won Survivor: Samoa "fan favorite."
Russell Hantz and "Boston" Rob Mariano join Survivor: Redemption Island
Burnett said he has been busy editing upcoming episodes of Survivor: Redemption Island and that he had not yet spoken to host and fellow executive producer Jeff Probst about the allegations. "I still have not had a conversation with CBS or anyone about it," he continued.
Hantz is one of two veteran players returning to the game for the new season of Survivor, which premieres Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8/7c on CBS. Hantz has not publicly commented on the allegations.
[Update: An earlier version of this story stated that Early was sued by Survivor producers and CBS in December. Early was sued by Mark Burnett's DJB Inc. alone in August.]