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Did ‘Tiger King’ ruin Joe Exotic’s life? ‘Absolutely,’ he says in a call from jail

“Tiger King” made Joe Exotic a pandemic-era star, right? Wrong, says the man himself.

Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, said TMZ the Friday Netflix docuseries ruined his life. And he claims it’s a project he never did.

“I didn’t do ‘Tiger King,’” he said in an exclusive interview from federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. “Did ‘Tiger King’ ruin my life? Absolutely.”

Maldonado-Passage said she was “shooting a little tiger show” in 2016-2017. “So Netflix and (series co-director) Eric Goode and all of them turned this into a conspiracy to kill Carole Baskin, to make a show. Anything you saw me in was actual footage that I filmed at the zoo. Everything they filmed after 2018, when I was arrested, was pre-arranged and we have evidence that they were all paid to say what they said.”

“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” the seven-episode show that premiered on March 20, 2020, just as COVID-19 was shutting down the world, instantly became bonding material among drifting viewers. of their normal lives.

“Social media, when not combing through all aspects of COVID-19, is debating the merits of the show and the fate of its eccentric cast,” Lorraine Ali of The Times wrote in April 2020. “And it’s hard blame captive audiences. for passionately responding to his themes of being caged, scared, and losing touch with the world outside the compound.”

Calling it a “car crash show,” Ali added: “Like Joe Exotic, it’s sensational, absurd and begs to be seen. It’s infectious in the worst ways.” “Tiger King” then added a less successful second season that arrived in November 2021.

Maldonado-Passage was arrested in 2018, years before “Tiger King” appeared, accused of trying to hire two different people to kill Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin, who had criticized her treatment of the animals in her care. .

He was sentenced and sentenced to 22 years in prison, he then unsuccessfully sought a clemency from President Trump in 2020. He later said he was denied because he was “too innocent and too GAY” for a Trump clemency. His prison sentence was reduced to 21 years in July 2021.

Maldonado-Passage was diagnosed with what he called “aggressive cancer” of the prostate in November 2021; in February this year, he was reportedly refusing treatment. The cancer has reportedly spread to his bladder and he has filed a do not resuscitate order with the authorities.

“I just have the attitude that if God gives me the will to move on, don’t bring me back into this world,” he told TMZ.

On the other hand, if she is lucky enough to get out of prison alive, she said she wants to remarry her boyfriend Seth Posey, to whom she has bequeathed all her possessions, and then go on a concert tour.