Openly gay Survivor winner Richard Hatch has said that he was imprisoned on a charge of tax evasion because of his sexuality.

Hatch, who was the first contestant to win the $1,000,000 prize on the popular US reality series, made the claim in an interview on the Today show.

He accused the prosecutor and judge in his case of discriminating against him, and when asked if he believed that he would have avoided jail if he were heterosexual said: “I do believe that.”

He claimed that “…there are personal issues involved for the prosecutor. I don’t know why. The prosecutorial misconduct has been egregious.”

Former US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente, whose office spearheaded the case against Hatch, responded that he was “delusional”.

Hatch was found guilty of tax evasion in January 2006 and was later sentenced to 51 months in prison. He is expected to be released in October.

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