Russell Hantz accused of leaking 'Survivor' info

Feb. 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM ET

Monty Brinton / CBS /
Russell Hantz returns to "Survivor" for a third time on Feb. 16.

Once a villain, always a villain?

In October 2009, posted an accurate order-of-elimination list for "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" before the season even aired. Now, a Daily Beast story by Reality Blurred blogger and contributor Andy Dehnart has the news on who gave the spoilers to the website: It's allegedly Russell Hantz, the contestant everyone loves to hate.

"Survivor" executive producer Mark Burnett and CBS sued the man behind, Jim Early, in August for spoiling not only "Heroes vs. Villains," but season 19 ("Samoa") as well. But according to Dehnart's report, the lawsuit has been dropped because Early has pointed the finger at the "Samoa" and "Heroes vs. Villains" contestant as the informant. (And he reportedly has the e-mails from Hantz to prove it.)

Could this mean big trouble for Hantz, who is a contestant in the upcoming "Survivor: Redemption Island"? It looks like that may be. The Daily Beast story notes that cast members' contracts specifically state players can't talk to the press without CBS'permission or provide spoilers (obviously). And if a contestant does any of that, they're in big, expensive trouble. As in "liquidated damages" of $5 million, waaaaaay more than the winning prize of $1 million.

Besides saving his own behind, why would Early give up his source? He told The Daily Beast it's "because of (Hantz's) attitude about the whole thing, and because Russell tried to implicate another player -- an innocent player -- who wasn't giving information."

Guess the man known as "the troll" to fans of "Survivor" may be as nasty on-screen as he is off.

What do you think CBS should do with Russell Hantz if he is indeed the leaker?

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