Closing statements today in Hatch trial

Lawyers for the prosecution and defense will present their closing arguments today in the tax evasion trial of Survivor winner Richard Hatch. Then the jury will decide his fate, which will undoubtedly lead to a bunch of oh-so-funny news stories about how this is a real jury and not a TV show one.

Rich completed his testimony yesterday, telling the jury, among other things, “Never from the beginning have I ever had any intention but to get this resolved and paid as due.” He “repeatedly stated during the trial that he is willing to pay what he owes but that the government won’t provide him figures,” according to the Providence Journal’s account. “Hatch [also] testified that he didn’t read another key document he signed: his Survivor contract. … [He] said that none of the contestants were given any time to consult with lawyers before the show began filming on a Malaysian island.”

Previously, he said that CBS agreed to pay his taxes; Slate’s Explainer examines how that would work, assuming it happened.

Also on Monday, Rich addressed the other part of the trial, payments made to his charity. The AP reports that “Hatch acknowledged that he used money donated to his charity, Horizon Bound, to pay for personal expenses, including tips for his limousine driver and payments for workmen doing construction on his house. He said he had put much of his own money into the charity, and was reimbursing himself.”

Sonja Christopher tells the New York Times that Rich e.mailed him last year and “he casually dropped, ‘Oh by the way, I may be spending some jail time,’ that they had been after him for about two years on his taxes.” She responded, “‘What in the blankety-blank-blank were you thinking?’ and then I tried to lighten it up with ‘I’ll send you a cake with a file in it.'”

Hatch thought CBS paid the taxes [Providence Journal]
‘Survivor’ thought producers would pay taxes [AP]
A New Reality for First ‘Survivor’ Winner: Tax Evasion Trial [New York Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.