Property tycoon-turned-U.S. reality TV king Donald Trump insists he will make sure disgraced Celebrity Apprentice star Richard Hatch appears on the programme's live finale, even though he's facing jail time for unpaid taxes.
The troubled TV star has been sentenced to nine months in prison after violating the terms of his probation for tax evasion.
Hatch was convicted in 2006 of failing to pay taxes on the $1 million (Gbp670,000) cash prize he won after appearing on the first season of America's Survivor.
He walked free from a Massachusetts prison in October 2009, after completing a three-year federal sentence for the crime, and was ordered to refile and pay the owed fees on show winnings and other income.
But Hatch did not refile his 2000 and 2001 tax returns - prompting Rhode Island's U.S. District Court Judge William Smith to sentence him to another jail stint on Friday (11Mar11).
Judge Smith ordered Hatch to report to authorities on Monday (14Mar11) to begin his sentence. He will also serve 26 months on supervised probation following his release.
But Trump does not envisage a problem if Hatch is needed for the live finale of his Celebrity Apprentice show - even if he's behind bars.
He tells Tvguide.com, "We don't expect this to be a conflict. If we have to we will get him out."
And Trump is planning to sit down and have a few stern words with Hatch: "I don't know what it is with him. I like him, he's a nice guy. I thought he served his time and now he's going back to jail... I'm gonna have to sit down with him and talk to him."