“Tiger King” Joe Exotic has delivered a message from jail to Carole Baskin, telling her “enough is enough” and she needs to move on with her life.
The Tiger King made this statement on the most recent broadcast of “Nightline.” It was Exotic’s, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, first jailhouse interview since being resentenced to 21 years in prison for his murder-for-hire conviction targeting Baskin.
Speaking to co-anchor Juju Chang, the cancer-stricken Tiger King star said he does not belong behind bars. “I’m losing weight real bad, and the sores in my mouth are unbearable to live with all the time. But you know, in the three-and-a-half years that I’ve been in custody, I’ve been taken to the hospital 43 times,” said Exotic of his poor health. “I have little to no immune system, and then they have to give me blood infusions every four weeks. Juju, I don’t see me walking out of here alive.”
Exotic also spoke about the conditions behind bars, as he shared, “You have no windows. It’s just a concrete room with no enrichment. No TV, no radio, no nothing. You cannot in America put a monkey in a cage, according to the Animal Welfare Act, and treat them like this.”
As for the Netflix documentary, which became a cultural phenomenon during the pandemic lockdown and launched Joe into stardom, the Tiger King star said he has not seen any of the seven episodes, which streamed in a whopping 64 million American households and, at the time, was Netflix’s biggest hit.
“I have seen nothing,” said Exotic, who credits the show’s popularity to himself.
“I have received and answered back over 11,000 letters. I get letters from 8-year-old kids to 95-year-old grandmas, and every letter says it’s because I was unapologetic, I stood up for what I believed in, and because I’m not ashamed of who I am. And that is why Tiger King 1 was such a hit, and Tiger King 2 turned out to be a flop,” Exotic said. However, that doesn’t mean Joe is out of the loop on everything that has happened since the success of the show.
“Get on the Internet and Google ‘Joe Exotic’ and hit the shop button and look. Everybody in the world is making money off of me but me,” said Exotic, who also has a message from his archnemesis, Baskin.
“What would I say? I am in prison, and she can’t leave me alone. So, what would I like to say? Carole, go find another reason to live other than Joe exotic. Because enough is enough.”
And to his fans, Exotic said, “All I can say to them is keep believing in me. I’m not going to let you down. I love each and every one of you people.”