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'Tiger King' Cast: Where Are They Now?

'Tiger King' Cast: Where Are They Now?

The filmmakers behind Tiger King, the stranger-than-fiction Netflix documentary that has had just about everyone hooked, began filming their subjects in 2015.

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Among them were the titular Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic or the self-titled Tiger King), his arch nemesis Carole Baskin, Myrtle Beach Safari owner Doc Antle, Joe's former business partner Jeff Lowe, zoo manager John Reinke, Joe's former husband John Finlay, Joe's new beau Dillon Passage and many more.

The closing scenes shed some light as to where some of the cast had ended up, but as we know, a lot can happen in a few years. We know that Joe Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison, but what exactly became of his associates?

Here's what the eccentric cast of characters from Tiger King are up to now.

John Finlay

John Finlay joined Joe Exotic's zoo in 2003 when he was 19 and quickly became the big cat breeder's lover. The pair got wed, and later, both Joe and John entered into a three-way polyamorous marriage with Travis Maldonado.

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John Finlay, Joe Exotic's former husband, is now engaged again (Credit: Netflix)
John Finlay, Joe Exotic's former husband, is now engaged again (Credit: Netflix)

But John's relationship with Joe broke down after he got one of the female staff members at the zoo pregnant. In fact, viewers found out that John had been sleeping with several women from the park before he eventually decided to leave, and that he didn't even identify as gay.

At the end of the documentary, final scenes show John getting his tattoo above his groin - which read 'Private Property of Joe Exotic' - removed. But where is he now?

According to reports, John now works as a welder and lives with his new fiancée Stormey Sanders.

Another huge update in John's life is his smile. In the documentary, John had missing teeth on account of his methamphetamine addiction, but he's since had a whole new set of dentures put in - something the filmmakers failed to include.

"Yes, I have my teeth fixed," he wrote his self-created Facebook rampage, titled The Truth About John Finlay.

"The producers of the Netflix series had video and pictures of this, but chose not to show it. It's all about the ratings for them, not the people they hurt."

Carole Baskin

Carole Baskin, animal rights activist and owner of Big Cat Rescue, was at the centre of Joe Exotic's story. The big cat owner launched a longterm hate campaign against the activist which eventually saw him imprisoned for organising her murder-for-hire.

It won't surprise viewers that these days, Carole and her husband Howard Baskin are still running the Big Cat Sanctuary, near Tampa in Florida.

Carole Baskin is still running Big Cat Rescue in Florida with her husband (Credit: Netflix)
Carole Baskin is still running Big Cat Rescue in Florida with her husband (Credit: Netflix)

Since the documentary landed on Netflix, Carole has accused it of "lying" about her, specifically concerning details around her former husband Don Lewis' disappearance.

In a statement posted on her website, Carole explained that filmmakers came to her five years ago with the idea of making "the big cat version of Blackfish" (the documentary which explored the abuse at SeaWorld) but "did not do any of that".

Instead, she says filmmakers had "the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers."

Doc Antle

Doc Antle - owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, with a rumoured nine wives - was another eccentric big cat owner heavily featured in the documentary. In the series, Antle was accused of euthanising his tigers when the got too old for petting.

These days, Antle still runs his zoo, along with his 'multiple' wives. But it seems Carole isn't the only one taking aim at the documentary, as Antle reportedly has some disagreements of his own - particularly regarding the accusations about his treatment of his animals.

According to Comicbook.com, a now-deleted Instagram post from the Myrtle Beach park owner read: "We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series."

The post is said to have continued: "We can only assume it is because Doc Antle has been such a high profile wildlife personality for so many decades that his association would create more buzz. Myrtle Beach Safari adheres to all USDA guidelines, and our animals are treated with the utmost care."

Dillon Passage

Dillon Passage married Joe Exotic in 2017, two months after his husband Travis Maldonado committed suicide. At the end of the doc, viewers saw Dillon still very much committed to Joe despite him being in prison.

View this post on Instagram
My husband's new ride
A post shared by Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) on

These days, the 22-year-old is active on social media and appears to be living his best life, but many have been wondering whether his marriage to Joe has lasted.

Well according to recent replies on his Instagram, the couple are still going strong. When someone asked how Joe was holding up prison on a recent photo, Dillon replied: "I'm still married to Joe but by social media platform isn't used for any Joe things."

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However a reply on another post seems to reference their marriage in past tense, for some reason. "Joe saved my life, I loved him for who he was. Our marriage was a commitment to each other. Was it strictly based on a sexual interaction? No" he wrote.

John Reinke

John Reinke, a longtime friend of Joe and manager at G.W. Zoo, was probably one of the most sane people in the show. At the end, we learnt the former zookeeper - who lost both his legs in a bungee jumping accident in 1994 - had left his wife of 30 years and lived alone.

According to The Cinemaholic, John now works on racing vehicles at Bodine Transmission Shop, located in Burkburnett, Texas.

John Reinke now works with racing vehicles (Credit Netflix)
John Reinke now works with racing vehicles (Credit Netflix)

Jeff Lowe

Jeff Lowe, the businessman who bailed Joe out of court debts before eventually taking over G.W Zoo, ended up a nemesis of Joe. At the end of the documentary, we learn Jeff is building a new zoo in Oklahoma to rid himself of the association with the convict.

Nowadays, Jeff appears to still be working on the Oklahoma Zoo, which is opening in summer 2020, judging by its Instagram. He's also finally hired a 'hot nanny' to help look after his new child, spoken about at the end of the documentary.

Naturally, he posted about the new hire on Instagram, even doing an Instagram live.

Joe Exotic

Last but not least, is the mulleted, gun-toting, polygamist and former prolific big cat breeder and zoo owner who is currently serving 22 years at the Grady County Jail in Chickashi in Oklahoma, for organising a murder-for-hire against Carole Baskin.

Exotic is reportedly currently launching a $94 million (£78 million) lawsuit from prison. 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 currently serving time in jail (Credit: Netflix)
Joe is currently serving time in jail (Credit: Netflix)

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."

We've got a feeling this isn't the last we'll hear of Joe Exotic and the Tiger King cast, anyone else?

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Entertainment

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.

 

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