The star of “Tiger King” has been moved to a medical facility following his recent cancer diagnosis, according to his lawyer.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as the eccentric Joe Exotic, was transferred from a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, to a medical facility in Butner, North Carolina, according to his attorney, John Phillips. Exotic was quietly transported via private plane in the late hours of Nov. 16 or early on Nov. 17.
Earlier this month, Exotic announced he had “aggressive cancer,” as previously reported. The announcement came after Exotic tweeted last May that test results indicated he could have prostate cancer, seeking President Joe Biden’s help with getting him out of prison to “get proper medical care and proper food.”
“He is one of the most passionate, full of life clients I have ever had the pleasure of representing,” stated John Phillips. “Joe informed me that his fears were true. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. “
According to Phillips, his client has been undergoing medical treatments and tests “for a host of issues.”
The statement explained that the North Carolina facility has had its share of “celebrity inmates” (including Bernie Madoff) but that Joe Exotic didn’t want to be counted among them.
“He needs cancer treatment,” said Phillips. “But we hoped the Marshal’s Service and Bureau of Prisons would choose to send him to Oklahoma, so he can prepare for his resentencing and upcoming motions to overturn his conviction.”
Phillips stated Joe Exotic’s transfer was supposed to happen later this month.
Exotic was convicted on federal charges of animal abuse and orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin. He is currently awaiting re-sentencing after a federal court of appeals ruled in his favor that he be convicted of a single count of attempted murder-for-hire instead of two. While Exotic offered money to two different men in exchange for Carole Baskin’s murder, she was only a single target, the court explained.
“I don’t want anyone’s pity,” Exotic said when he announced his cancer on Instagram. “And I’m sure Carole will have her own party over this.”
“Prison medical care isn’t the best, and justice is slow,” continued Phillips. “It’s a competition of life and liberty no one wants any part of it.”
Before representing Joe Exotic, Phillips represented the family of Don Lewis, Carole Baskin’s former husband, who disappeared in 1997. The disappearance is among the points of focus for the new second season of “Tiger King.”
“It is often said, ‘All we have is our health,’” said Phillips. “The last few years has taken everything from Joe Exotic – his property, his freedom, his husband sold his clothes, his parents have passed away, and now he faces cancer. Please keep Joe in your thoughts and prayers.”
After discussing Exotic’s transfer, Phillips also addressed the debut of “Tiger King 2,” which features Exotic’s exclusive interviews from behind bars.
“Joe obviously has no access to be able to watch Netflix and has been in COVID quarantine after transferring prisons,” said Phillips. “As such, he has been withheld from legal calls and access. We hope to have access to him soon.”
“Tiger King 2” is now available for streaming on Netflix.