'Tiger King' Joe Exotic Suing From Prison For $94 Million
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Tiger King has been baffling viewers since it landed on Netflix over the weekend, with its stranger-than-fiction storyline and bizarre cast of characters.
But the story is far from over judging by the latest twist in the tale: Joe Exotic is suing from prison.
Titular character Joseph Maldonado-Passage - aka Joe Exotic, or the self-titled Tiger King - is reportedly launching a $94 million (£78 million) lawsuit from prison, where he is currently serving 22 years for a murder-for-hire plot against his longtime critic and rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin.
Exotic - who resides at Grady County Jail in Chickashi, Oklahoma - is claiming a massive conspiracy led him to be locked up, and for the death of his mother.
To catch up those who haven't started yet (strap in), Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness tells the story of Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting, polygamist and prolific big cat breeder who ran a zoo in Oklahoma.
Told through a mix of archival and new footage, we learn about the big cat subculture in America and its key players, focusing on the eccentric Joe Exotic who became somewhat of a local celebrity, even unsuccessfully running for state governor and President of the United States.
But dark plots were bubbling under the surface. In January this year, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for hiring someone to kill Big Cat Sanctuary owner Carole Baskin, as well as multiple wildlife violations.
Now, US gossip website TMZ says it has seen legal documents in which the big cat owner claims he was falsely imprisoned due to being framed and via discrimination.
Joe is suing the US Department of Interior and the US Federal Wildlife Service for placing the 'generic tiger' on the endangered species list, which was done solely to target his business and put him out of work.
The convict is also claiming he was "discriminated against because he is the only person charged with this statute because [he] is an openly gay male with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds."
Exotic apparently is suing for $78,840,000 (£65,618,000) for the loss of his personal property and for 18 years of his work with tigers.
On top of this, Exotic is going after several people involved in his case including former business partner Jeff Lowe, who he says planted evidence against him.
He is also seeking another $15 million (£12,5 million) , as he is accusing a former colleague of being an informant which ultimately contributed to the death of his mother.
It's a new turn in the story which could be explored in season 2 of Tiger King, which the documentary showrunners have hinted could be on the cards.
"I mean, yes, we have a crazy amount of footage and it's a story that's still unfolding," co-director Rebecca Chaiklin told Entertainment Weekly.
"We're not sure yet, but there could be a follow-up on this story because there's a lot that's still unfolding in it, and it'll be just as dramatic and just as colourful as what has unfolded these past few years."