April 21st, 2009
02:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Judge vetoes Blagojevich's reality TV plan

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/21/art.getty.blago.jpg caption="A Federal judge has denied ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's request to travel to Central America to take part in a reality TV show."]CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) - A Federal judge has denied ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's request to travel to Central America to take part in a reality TV show.

Blagojevich had signed on to "be dropped into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle" in a celebrity competition, according to the NBC television network.

But his participation depended U.S. District Court Judge James Zagel lifting travel restrictions imposed when the former governor was indicted on federal corruption charges, the network said.

Zagel, in a Tuesday morning hearing, called it "a bad idea" and suggested Blagojevich find another way to earn money, according CNN affiliate WLS-TV.

The judge told Blagojevich he should stay remain in the United States to work on his defense, WLS reported.

Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed from office earlier this year, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A federal grand jury indicted him this month on 16 felony counts, including racketeering, conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to investigators.

He is accused with scheming to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

Blagojevich denies all charges.

The reality show - "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!" - is based on a successful British show, NBC said.

"Ten celebrities of various backgrounds will be dropped into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness and to raise money for their favorite charities," the NBC statement said.

The show is scheduled to air over four weeks in June, the network said.

Filed under: Rod Blagojevich
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. a part of me is sad

    I watch Jerry Springer and I thought of Blago as the second coming

    April 21, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Jack in Florida

    Good news..............the less we see and hear from him the better off we will all be................Thank you Judge Zagel

    April 21, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  3. therealmarie

    Noe that's silly because Blago does not have enough money to mount his defense. So guess who pays for that defense? The Taxpayers. When will people stop being so emotionaly silly and ignorant of court rules, rights and procedures?

    April 21, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Mark WI.

    Maybe Blago will try selling his TV spot to the highest bidder also!

    April 21, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. obama/mama

    Oh well Blago. Guess you have to find another escape route. Maybe you can tell them you want to volunteer over in Afghanistan and hide out in one of their villages. You may have to cut the bang though.

    April 21, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Jackie in Dallas

    Good. I hope all plans that Blagojovich makes to benefit monetarily from his crass political manuevers get effectively squashed, as well.

    April 21, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Suzan

    I think he was hoping to disappear into the jungle with his millions...too bad he got a smart judge.

    April 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. FreeNLovIt

    What a complete jerk!

    April 21, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    This is AMerica. It would have been good to see someone doing good for America. You know boosting ratings and boosting the economy through his work.

    April 21, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. elizabeth

    The judge made a good call. Drop Rod off in the jungle, he may never surface. I think he knows it is over.

    April 21, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Irishny

    Its a sad day when being a massively corrupt polician is enough to get yourself some extra cash by going on reality tv shows

    April 21, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Mary

    I was hoping he would go - and just get lost

    April 21, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Katie

    Heck yeah, drop him off in the jungle, without a camera crew, without food & water, he cant hurt no one over there.....very good choice

    April 21, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. Malik

    Here is a man who is facing prison time and is looking to appear on a reality TV show.Well Rob here a great name for your show "25 to Life".

    April 21, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Simmy

    Blago would have probably gotten lost in the jungle anyway....

    April 21, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Cerena

    I think they should drop in the the jungle and leave him there....FOREVER!

    April 21, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Jim

    Hey Blago, may I suggest you begin a career doing something you're obviously good at...like slinging bull dung with a pitchfork or cleaning toilets! Whatever you decide to do, just go away and leave us alone...PLEASE.

    April 21, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Steph

    Thank the Lord...our justice system works!

    April 21, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. hope over fear

    Thank God.

    April 21, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Thomas

    In another story about this criminal, it stated that he wants to use $2 Million of his campaign monies to pay for his legal expenses. This guy sure does have a big pair!!! What nerve!

    April 21, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Bob in Pa

    Aw Judge, let hime go. If he doesn't come back then better for us. If he does come back, seize his salary for payment of his prosecution.

    April 21, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    infamous maybe!

    April 21, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. bill

    NBC knew that blago would never get permission for a trip out of the country facing 16 indictments. They wanted to get some free publicity for their new show.

    April 21, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. Doraine Gordon

    Good for the Judge! He made the right decision. Why should we have to have a criminal in our living room? I'm sure he has lots of other plans to make money. Let him use them.

    April 21, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Larry

    I think old Blogo is going to get a little reality right here in the good old USA ...

    Hang Um High ...

    April 21, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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