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‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Speaks from Prison: ‘I’m Done with the Carole Baskin Saga’

J. Kim Murphy

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Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, isn’t done with his on-camera attention just yet.

The subject of Netflix’s true crime docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” has become an overnight celebrity since the show premiered last month. Based on the platform’s Top 10 most popular section, “Tiger King” has now reigned as the most watched program on Netflix for 12 consecutive days.

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“You know it would 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,” Maldonado-Passage said, speaking from prison in an interview with Netflix that was conducted March 22.

“I’m ashamed of myself,” he confessed about having kept so many animals in confinement over many years, challenging viewers to try sitting in a cage like his animals did.

Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his role in conspiring in a murder-for-hire plot targeting animal rights activist Carole Baskin and for animal welfare violations. Among other subjects, “Tiger King” follows the rivalry between Baskin and Maldonado-Passage, an owner of a private zoo in Oklahoma.

“I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga. It’s now time to turn the tables and… get [Joe] out of a jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges,” Maldonado-Passage told Netflix.

Maldonado-Passage also commented on his relationship with husband Dillon Passage during the interview, thanking Passage for continuing to stand by him through his imprisonment. Despite media reports, Dillon recently confirmed to Variety that Maldonado-Passage has not contracted coronavirus. Concerns over Maldonado-Passage’s health spread when news broke that he was under quarantine in a prison medical facility in Ft. Worth after he reportedly came in contact with someone with COVID-19.

Watch Netflix’s full interview with Maldonado-Passage below.


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