Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jeff Probst Hopes Richard Hatch Can Survive Prison

LOS ANGELES (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Now that inaugural Survivor winner Richard Hatch has been found guilty of failing to pay taxes on his winnings, the show’s host, Jeff Probst, hopes he can survive a prison sentence.

Probst isn’t justifying Hatch’s actions but admits he feels sad for him and regrets some of the comments he’s made about the case.

As he puts it, “When I first found out about it, I made some flippant comment like, ‘Richard thought he could outwit the IRS’ and, to his credit, he sent a note to me saying, ‘This is really serious.’”

Probst won’t comment on Hatch’s claims that the show’s producers promised to pay taxes or his allegations that other contestants snuck food on to the island, except to say he’s been hearing rumors about the food smuggling since the beginning and “they’ve never been proven.”

Hatch is scheduled for sentencing on April 28 and faces up to 13 years in prison and a $600,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Probst has a rosier future. Survivor: Panama – Exile Island begins Thursday (Feb. 2) and he still can’t believe he’s getting paid to do the show.

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