Hantz, a 45-year-old American oil company owner, was the runner-up on Survivor: Samoa in 2009 and the second runner-up on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains in 2010. He also competed on Survivor: Redemption Island in 2011. He quickly became known as one of the show’s most infamous villains, often lying and betraying his fellow tribe members.
Now, he admits the devious persona seeped into his life off-camera.
“I stayed that person for years after and that is just not a good person in real life,” he recently told Australian magazine Who. “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.”
Hantz, who shares four children with ex-wife Melanie, said it eventually led to the demise of the couple’s relationship.
“I went home and pretty much ignored everything, including my relationship with my wife,” he said. “I lost my marriage.”
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Hantz recently returned to the series to compete on Australian Survivor; he was the second player to be eliminated. He had previously told Who that while he still planned on getting “in character” to compete, he wanted to “prove to my kids that I can still be Dad after all that.”
As for his ex-wife? He told the magazine they “get along great” following their 2014 divorce.
“I called her up before I came here,” he said. “She said that she’d pray for me.”