Jailed star of Netflix's 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic makes fresh plea for parole claiming he has prostate cancer

The star's lawyer has confirmed he is yet to be officially diagnosed with the disease

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, poses with one of his tigers. AFP / Netflix
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, poses with one of his tigers. AFP / Netflix

The star of Netflix’s Tiger King, Joe Exotic, has claimed he has prostate cancer as he makes a fresh bid for parole.

Exotic, 58, has served two years of his 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of plotting a murder-for-hire against his nemesis Carole Baskin, as well as a string of wildlife crimes, and has made a number of bids for parole.

However, the former zoo operator has now said that he has prostate cancer. In a tweet on Friday, he revealed his health is deteriorating.

“John Phillips [Exotic’s lawyer] has received my medical records from FMC Fort Worth and my PSA count came back very high for prostate cancer,” he wrote.

“The prison has approved testing to verify what stage it is in. My body is tired, I have lost a tremendous amount of weight, the mouth sores are out of control, I throw up more than I eat.”

Joseph 'Exotic' Maldonado-Passage was convicted in an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, who he has repeatedly accused of killing her husband Jack “Don” Lewis. AP
Joseph 'Exotic' Maldonado-Passage was convicted in an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, who he has repeatedly accused of killing her husband Jack 'Don' Lewis. AP

However, Phillips revealed Exotic has not been formally diagnosed with cancer, and is currently awaiting the results of a biopsy. He told the New York Post that it is premature to say he has prostate cancer, even if he has all the signs.

In a later tweet, Exotic – real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage – said he had appointments set with an oncologist and a urologist later in May. “Now they report a biopsy will also be scheduled on a tumour on my right side below my ribs. Also scheduling a colonoscopy and endoscopy to find everything,” he wrote.

“I don’t want anyone’s pity,” he said in a further tweet. “What I need is when John Phillips gets the evidence he is working on, I need the world to help him get President Biden, VP Harris and the Attorney General to listen to the evidence and see that it’s not just city cops out of control with corruption, but his very own Department of Justice and make this right and sign that pardon that Trump left behind so I can go home and get proper medical care and proper food.”

Exotic started a petition to have former president Donald Trump pardon him last March, releasing a video proclaiming his innocence and having his legal team repaint a bus with the words: "President Trump, Please Pardon Joe Exotic."

He also reportedly wrote a lengthy letter to Trump claiming he has been sexually abused in prison. However, after he failed to receive the pardon, he tweeted: “I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post.

"Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first."

Updated: May 16, 2021 03:07 PM

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