Netflix's Tiger King star Joe Exotic's ex-husband is a convicted paedophile in prison for gun murder

TIGER King star Joe Exotic's ex-husband is convicted paedophile Jeffrey Charles 'JC' Hartpence, who is in prison for gun murder.

Exotic, born Joe Schreibvogel, is currently serving 22 years in jail after being found guilty of paying a hitman to kill animal activist Carole Baskin, and of the killing tigers to make room for more cats in his animal park.

In the smash hit docuseries, Exotic's complicated love life is explored, including his polyamorous marriage to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado.

But in a recent New York Magazine article, it has been revealed that Joe was in a violent marriage to a man now in prison for murder.

Exotic fell for Jeffrey Charles 'JC' Hartpence while grieving the death of his first husband Bryan Rhyne in 1991, before Hartpence's convictions.

However, their relationship was reportedly so violent that Exotic finally found the courage to end their romance after Hartpence held a gun to his head in a drunken rage.

Years after the pair parted ways, Hartpence was convicted for "aggravated indecent liberties with a child under the age of 14" and put on the sex offenders register.

Hartpence is now serving life in prison in Kansas for first degree felony murder of Curtis Shelton who was found dead in his home with multiple gunshot wounds in 2014.

The 43-year-old was given a life sentence for Shelton's murder and will be eligible for parole in 2034.

The bombshell revelation comes as Exotic filed a $94 million federal lawsuit against the government for alleged civil rights violations.

According to his lawsuit, obtained by PEOPLE, Exotic is seeking $73,840,000 for loss of personal property.

He says this includes "18 years of research and care of 200 generic tigers and cross-breeds for 365 days a year, at a boarding rate of $60/day per animal".

A further $15 million is for "false arrest, false imprisonment, selective enforcement and the death of his mother, Shirley".

The lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and government agents.

The country music singer has also claimed that those government offices made the tiger an endangered species in the US solely to file charges against him – and promote their alleged “animal rights agenda”.

He also claimed he was targeted “because [he] is an openly gay male with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds.”

In the suit, the reality star accused his former business partner, Jeffrey Lowe, of filing false statements to federal agents.

He alleged: “He was the main person in this entrapment scheme to take my zoo for free. Changed my medicine with illegal drugs, stole my animals under fraudulent reasons.”

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