Addicted to Tiger King? You’re not alone. The Netflix docuseries that chronicles the rise and fall of Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, also known as “Joe Exotic.” The series began as a look at those who own “big cats” and run public zoos. It quickly took a turn into something else, a dark look at the life of zoo owners and the war that occurs between them.
The docuseries zoomed in on Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue, a longtime rival of Joe Exotic. Each accused the other of animal abuse, but it’s Joe Exotic who landed behind bars. He is serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire, for a plot to kill Baskin.
In the docuseries, the 57-year-old made multiple accusations that not only was Baskin’s zoo not in the best interest of the animals, but also that she was responsible for her second husband’s disappearance. In fact, in the series, he accused her of murdering Don Lewis, who mysteriously disappeared in 1997.
“There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that, but has had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewer,” Baskin, 58, said in a statement following the series’ drop on Netflix. “As part of that, it has a segment devoted to suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that I had a role in the disappearance of my husband Don in 1997. The series presents this without any regard for the truth or in most cases even giving me an opportunity before publication to rebut the absurd claims. They did not care about truth. The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers.”
Maldonado-Passage gave his first interview from jail on Friday, April 3. “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,” he told Netflix. “I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga. It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges.”
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If you were one of the many who watched the docuseries and were hooked, scroll through the gallery below for more addicting documentaries, streaming now.