Tiger King: Joe Exotic seeking ‘$94m legal settlement’ from prison

Ellie Harrison
Joe Exotic, one of the stars of Netflix's new docuseries 'Tiger King': Netflix

Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage, the man at the centre of Netflix’s hugely popular new documentary Tiger King, is suing from prison.

Tiger King, which has been called “absolutely bonkers” by quarantined viewers, tells the story of a feud between tiger breeder Exotic and animal activist Carole Baskin.

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for plotting to kill Baskin and other wildlife violations.

He has now filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Interior and the US Federal Wildlife Service for nearly $79 million while serving time at Grady County Jail in Oklahoma.

In the suit, according to TMZ, Exotic claims he was a victim of malicious prosecution and discrimination. He says the aforementioned agencies were allegedly responsible for “stealing my property and promoting an animal rights agenda” when they tried to put him out of his business - namely by placing the “generic tiger” on the endangered species list.

Exotic argues that he was “discriminated against because he is the only person charged with this statute because [he] is an openly gay male with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds”.

He is seeking $78,840,000 to cover his personal property loss and 18 years worth of his work with tigers.

Exotic is also demanding another $15m for being falsely arrested and imprisoned over an attempted murder plot on Baskin, in addition to violating the Endangered Species Act for killing five tigers.

He is currently serving his sentence after he was found guilty in October 2017.

Exotic also alleges his former business partner Jeff Lowe lied to authorities and planted evidence to implicate him, while claiming that another colleague’s role as an informant contributed to the death of his mother.

Since the seven-episode series first launched on Netflix, Baskin has slammed the show in a blog post, calling it “salacious and sensational”.

Tiger King is being adapted into a drama, with Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon set to play Baskin.

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