Blago wants to appear on reality show

April 15, 2009 (CHICAGO) An attorney close to Rod Blagojevich's legal defense says that he wants permission to leave the country to appear on a reality TV show set in the Costa Rican jungle. The show is called "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!"

ABC aired it back in 2003. Now NBC is picking it up.

Blagojevich could tape the show in June if given permission by the judge.

Blagojevich pleaded not guilty to federal racketeering and fraud charges Tuesday..

Ten celebrities will be dropped into the jungle "to face challenges designed to test their skills in adapting to the wilderness," the network said.

But Blagojevich's legal problems could end the venture before it begins.

His bond does not allow him to leave the United States and Judge James B. Zagel would have to modify it for him to appear on the show.

Defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky declined to confirm the story. Publicists Glenn Selig and Justin Herndon did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.

Blagojevich has become accustomed to television cameras. As his impeachment trial got under way in Springfield, he launched a media blitz, rushing from one TV studio to another in New York to proclaim his innocence. He likened himself to the hero of a Frank Capra movie and to a cowboy in the hands of a Wild West lynch mob on shows including "The View," "Larry King Live" and "Late Show" with David Letterman.

Blagojevich seemed to bask in the adulation, signing autographs and posing with onlookers as he left TV studios. During interviews, Blagojevich repeatedly said he had done nothing wrong and blasted the impeachment trial as unfair.

His unwillingness to stay quiet cost him the help of his former lead attorney, Edward M. Genson, who announced in January he was withdrawing from the case and suggested Blagojevich wouldn't listen to him.

The 52-year-old is charged with schemed to sell or trade President Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat. He is also charged with planning to squeeze money from companies seeking state business and plotting to use the financial muscle of the governor's office to pressure the Chicago Tribune to fire editorial writers who had called for his impeachment.

Federal spokesman Randall Samborn said he had no comment on the reality show idea.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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