Richard Hatch, who won $1 million as the first champion of CBS’s “Survivor” and has been in hot water over alleged unpaid taxes, is appealing to the public to try to drum up money to clear his name and sue CBS, TMZ.com reported.
Hatch is reportedly in custody awaiting sentencing for not paying taxes on his “Survivor” winnings. He says he needs $300,000 by April 10 to pay off his tax debt and stay out of prison–and to sue the network, “Survivor” creator Mark Burnett and other people associated with the show.
Hatch wrote an open letter to the public in which he said, "I can prove my innocence if someone will loan me three hundred thousand dollars."
In the letter, Hatch blames CBS for his tax problems: "I have until April 10, 2011 to pay the Malaysian government the tax they are due for the work I did on ‘Survivor’ ten years ago, taxes the producers of ‘Survivor’ and CBS Television were legally required to pay to the Malaysian Revenue Board."
Hatch also contended in his missive that the U.S. government has used his IRS woes to generate publicity. The IRS has made him a “poster boy,” he claims. "The government has very effectively exploited my notoriety to their ends and I have been powerless to stop them,” he wrote.