Besides playing to win Australian Survivor - a feat he was unable to achieve in any of the three US seasons in which he competed - Russell Hantz, 45, has something else to prove to himself and, especially, his four kids back home.
He wants to show he can leave his boastful, devious “King Russell” persona on the island, having not been able to do that the first time he played—a fact that resulted in the end of his marriage to ex-wife Melanie.
"I stayed that person for years after and that is just not a good person in real life," he says. "I didn't go round lying, cheating and stealing, but I went around partying and everything else, so it’s just not a positive thing. I went home and pretty much ignored everything, including my relationship with my wife. I lost my marriage.”
Although he will still “get in character” to play Australian Survivor, Hantz wants to “prove to my kids that I can still be Dad after all that."
Hantz says he and his ex-wife now "get along great" following their 2014 divorce - "I called her up before I came here; she said that she'd pray for me" - but admits the way he acted after he became one of the most infamous reality TV stars of all time was an error.
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