Tiger King’s Joe Exotic pleads for release from prison after revealing ‘aggressive cancer’ diagnosis

‘Say a prayer please. Be my voice please’

Maanya Sachdeva
Thursday 04 November 2021 07:06
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<p>Tiger King’s Joe Exotic </p>

Tiger King’s Joe Exotic

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Tiger King’s Joe Exotic has revealed he is now suffering from “aggressive” late-stage prostate cancer in an emotional, handwritten letter from prison.

On Wednesday (3 November), Exotic reached out to his followers to tell them his condition was worsening, and appealed for help to be released from prison.

The star of Netflix’s hit docu-series wrote: “It is with a sad face that I have to tell you the doctors called me in today to break the news that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer, I am still waiting on the results from other tests”.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, first announced that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer on 14 May.

He continued: “Right now I don’t want anyone’s pity and I’m sure Carole will have her own party over this!”

Exotic is currently in prison for hiring two separate hitmen to murder Carole Baskin, the animal rights activist who appeared on Tiger King alongside Exotic.

The docu-series focussed heavily on the rivalry between Exotic and Baskin, in addition to investigating Baskin’s involvement in the disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis, who was declared dead in absentia in 2002.

Recently, Baskin has sued Netflix and Royal Goode Productions for including footage of her and her husband Howard in the trailer for the forthcoming Tiger King 2, on the grounds that it amounted to a breach of contract.

The couple said they only signed appearance release forms for the first season of the show that became a cultural phenomenon in March 2020.

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Asking people to support his release from prison, Exotic claimed he was innocent, writing “they have the proof I did not do this” and that there is no reason for the US Attorney General to “drag this out”.

Joe Exotic speaks from prison in an episode of Tiger King

Asking the world to be his “voice” in this new letter, the incarcerated zookeeper reiterated his plea to be pardoned and released from prison so that he can receive treatment at home, and “enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones!”

Confirming Exotic’s cancer diagnosis, his lawyer John M Phillips tweeted: “He and I spoke Monday with both of us in tears at a point. He needs freedom by so many definitions and we are diligent working towards that.”

Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to murder Baskin and violating federal wildlife laws.

Currently scheduled to be released from Texas’s Fort Worth in 2037, Exotic has appealed to both the former and current US presidents, Donald Trump and Joe Biden respectively, to be exonerated.

After Trump failed to pardon him, Exotic had said: “I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a pardon from Trump.”

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