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Radio station: No OK for 'Survivor' winner call-in

Richard Hatch, who won the first "Survivor" television program, departs federal court in Providence, R.I.
Richard Hatch, who won the first "Survivor" television program, departs federal court in Providence, R.I.
Steven Senne, Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The sister of "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch said Wednesday she thinks her brother was sent back to jail over an interview, and a radio station host said Hatch called in to his show twice without the station first getting permission from the federal Bureau of Prisons.

Hatch, who had been serving out the remainder of his prison term for tax evasion on home confinement in Newport, was taken into custody and jailed Tuesday, just hours after interviews aired on WPRO-AM, NBC's "Today" show and WJAR-TV. In those interviews, Hatch said the judge in his tax evasion case discriminated against him because he was gay. He also accused the prosecutor of misconduct.

Hatch's sister told NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday that when a sheriff's deputy came to bring her brother to the Barnstable County Jail in Massachusetts on Tuesday, she overheard him say that Hatch was being jailed because "he did an interview."

The federal Bureau of Prisons would not comment on Hatch's case. But spokeswoman Traci Billingsley said prisoners on home confinment cannot grant interviews without first getting permission. She said approval typically takes a few days and is sought by and granted to the media outlet.

WPRO host John DePetro said the radio station didn't get the permission because Hatch called in on his own, twice. DePetro said Hatch was angry about comments made on the show by former U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, who oversaw Hatch's prosecution. Corrente had called Hatch "delusional."

"When he heard the Corrente interview, that's what set him off," DePetro said. "He was hot when he called in."

"Today" show host Matt Lauer said on the show Wednesday that he had permission for his interview. WJAR-TV, the local NBC affiliate, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Hatch's lawyer and sister did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Hatch was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the $1 million he was awarded for winning the first season of the CBS reality show. He was given extra prison time for lying on the stand.

His term is scheduled to end on Oct. 7.