Joe Exotic moved from his prison in Fort Worth, Texas, to one in North Carolina where he can receive treatment for prostate cancer. The star of Netflix’s docuseries Tiger King is serving a 22-year sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill his rival, big cat rescuer Carol Baskins for $3,000.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, announced earlier this month that doctors diagnosed him with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. TMZ said federal prison officials moved him to a medical facility in Butner, North Carolina, this week. Notorious Ponzi-schemer Bernie Madoff spent time in that facility before his death earlier this year.
“Doctors called me in today to break the news that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer,” he tweeted earlier this month. “Carole will have her own party over this! Say a prayer everyone & be my voice.”
In a letter he posted along with the tweet, Exotic begged for mercy.
“What I need is the world to be my voice to be released,” he wrote. “They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the US Attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own and enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones.”
Exotic will remain in prison until 2037 unless a judge changes his sentence. He asked former President Donald Trump for a pardon, but it didn’t materialize before Trump left office in January.
While Exotic has garnered the most headlines, Baskins is winning their war. She recently sold his Oklahoma zoo that housed several tigers and big cats. She won the land in a trademark lawsuit, TMZ said. Baskins sold it with the condition it never be used as a zoo again.
Dramatic Re-Telling of ‘Tiger King’ Currently Filming
Tiger King 2 recently premiered on Netflix to ho-hum reviews. The critics are knocking the show because it lacks the narrative punch of the original, which followed the never-ending war between Joe Exotic and Carol Baskins. Neither appears in the sequel. Baskins said she felt producers duped her into appearing the first Tiger King, and Exotic is in prison.
However, there is a lot of interest in the upcoming dramatized re-telling of Tiger King. The show is based on the Wondry podcast “Joe Exotic.”
John Cameron Mitchell will star as Exotic. Kate McKinnon of Saturday Night Live is set to play Baskins. Kyle MacLachlan will star as Baskins’ husband, Howard. The production began filming last month, Entertainment Tonight reported.
“Our adaptation is gonna be much more personal,” Mitchell said about the show in May. “You really get to see them in their lives, with their lovers, so you get more of the emotional, human side as well as the absurd, you know, American insanity that they represent.”