“They didn’t really show Joe. They touched upon it, but that guy is the biggest criminal,” Lowe alleged while speaking exclusively to Us Weekly on Monday, March 30, in a joint interview with his wife, Lauren Lowe. “One thing that bothered me was they didn’t expose that [it] was not him singing. He stole $3,000 from the park and when the song came out, he paid this guy in Washington three grand to sing it.”
Jeff continued, “Then, he would embezzle another $3,500 from the park for a music video of him lip-synching. Everything about Joe was fake! We tolerated it as much as we could, but Lauren and I went back to Las Vegas. That’s when Joe put out that Carole Baskin assassination tape.”
Jeff noted that he and Lauren were with Exotic (real name Joe Maldonado-Passage) for “three years,” so they believe they have a good idea of who the former zoo operator is. “You have to have a sense of humor just to exist because the drama and the chaos — it was just horrible,” he claimed, to which Lauren added, “Joe was definitely a nightmare.”
As for his own portrayal in the Netflix docuseries, Jeff implied that the creators tried to indicate that he ultimately set up Exotic. In actuality, Jeff claimed that he covered Exotic’s bills and put the singer in charge of the zoo before returning to Las Vegas.
“I didn’t want to be here running a zoo every day. It’s ridiculous,” Jeff explained to Us. “He couldn’t accept the fact that he f–ked up. He just couldn’t control himself. We found out from our bank, because he has me locked out of my own bank account. We came back to find out he stole $88,000 for his campaign money for his condoms and yard signs. He forged my name 40 times on $50,000 cashed checks. He was selling cubs, so the feds were watching him way before I came into the picture.”
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness examines the exotic animal owners scene from the viewpoint of Exotic. Exotic’s involvement in the underground world eventually leads to his association with a murder-for-hire plot.
The wild docuseries has attracted many celebrity fans, including Kim Kardashian, Sylvester Stallone, Dax Shepard and Cardi B. However, Jeff admitted that the show’s popularity has been “kind of overwhelming” as he and his wife have been targeted with “many rude and insulting comments” from trolls.
“The stars lined up for [Tiger King directors] Rebecca [Chaiklin] and Eric [Goode] because of the coronavirus,” he shared with Us on Monday. “The [show’s] 15 minutes is almost over and will pass, just like everything else. But it’s been pretty amazing.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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