Netflix’s smash docuseries “Tiger King” included plenty of shocking scenes, including the jaw-dropping moment Joshua Dial witnessed the accidental shooting death of Travis Maldonado, a husband of Joe Exotic.
Dial, then the manager of Joe Exotic’s long-shot Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign, said he still relives the trauma from that fateful 2017 day.
“I definitely have PTSD. There was no preparation for what I saw in that office,” he told People Thursday. “It was so shocking. I have nightmares about it.”
When Maldonado walked into Dial’s office at Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park just before accidentally shooting himself, it was the second time the 23-year-old had waved a gun at Dial that day.
Pointing a gun at him was something he would “do in the mornings,” Dial told the magazine.
“That very day he did that to me. He broke into my room, pointed that new gun that he said would not fire without a clip at me, and asked me to wake up. I’m lucky to even be alive.”
After Maldonado’s version of a wake-up call, he joined Dial in his office and said, “Hey, did you know a Ruger won’t fire without a clip?” before he put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger, Dial recalled to People.
“The second he pulled the trigger, I knew he was dead,” he said. “You don’t come back from something like that.”
Dial is still so distraught from witnessing Maldonado’s death that a GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for counseling for him, which he said he can’t afford.
“I don’t want to have to ask for help, but I know that everything I went through, especially working over a-year-and-a-half looking at that bullet hole thousands of times, I need help,” he told People.
According to the GoFundMe page, which was created by the hosts of a Libertarian podcast Dial appeared on, watching Maldonado’s death wasn’t the only aspect of working with Joe Exotic that’s still haunting him: the aftermath is, too.
Dial alleges that Joe Exotic, aka Joe Madonado-Passage, forced him to watch videos of one of the zoo’s tigers attacking zoo staffer Saff, who ended up losing her arm.
“From Joe forcing him to watch videos of Saff’s arm being torn off as penance to rumors on the internet that he had something to do with it. This guy has been through it all,” the page said.
Nearly all of the $5,000 goal for Dial’s counseling has been reached, and an update earlier this week said he “has found a provider and is currently being seen.”
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