Tiger King‘s Joseph Maldonado-Passage — better known as “Joe Exotic” — is letting the cat out of the bag from behind bars at the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma.
Maldonado-Passage told Netflix in a jailhouse interview on March 22 that he is moving on from his self-declared war with activist Carole Baskin.
“I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga,” Maldonado-Passage said. The star of Tiger King is in jail after being found guilty in 2019 for paying a hitman $3,000 to kill Baskin, his rival and founder of the Big Cat Rescue.
“It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges,” Maldonado-Passage said.
He is currently serving a 22-year sentence and recently filed a lawsuit against various government agencies, as well as a former business partner, seeking $94 million in damages.
The eccentric subject of Tiger King would also like to leave jail so he can watch the documentary he stars in and also enjoy his fame.
“You know, it’d be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I’ve seen these same four walls for a year and a half now,” he said in the interview with Netflix.
“When I walk out of here, am I going to be as crazy as I was before?” he said. “That will never change.”
“Go sit in a cage with your animals for a week,” Maldonado-Passage said when asked what he’d like fans of the docu-series to know. “I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I’m ashamed of myself.”
In Tiger King, the former zookeeper expressed dismay when he saw his chimpanzees’ quality of life noticeably increase at the sanctuary, where they were let into larger spaces with other chimps.
Tiger King is now streaming on Netflix.
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