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Joe Exotic Says He’s ‘Not One Bit Shocked’ That Erik Cowie Has Died In Rare Interview

Niamh Shackleton

| Last updated 

Joe Exotic Says He's 'Not One Bit Shocked' That Eric Cowie Has Died In Rare InterviewNetflix

Tiger King star Joe Exotic has said he’s not shocked at the sudden death of Erik Cowie.

The 53-year-old zookeeper was found dead in a residence in New York City on Friday, September 3.


Cowie was part of Netflix’s hit show Tiger King, based on the events that unfolded at The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, Oklahoma, and continued to work there after Exotic’s arrest in 2018.

While many people were shocked to hear the news of Cowie’s passing, Exotic said he wasn’t.

Joe Exotic in The Tiger King (Netflix)Netflix

Cowie’s cause of death remains unreported, but Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, has since alleged that the late zookeeper long battled alcohol addiction, and that he once paid for him to go to rehab for help.


He said of Cowie:

So am I shocked he is gone? No, not a bit. I put him through rehab in Ardmore Oklahoma and still [gave] him a home and a job. He had a horrible disease of alcohol.

Exotic went on to accuse Cowie of lying on the stand during his trial, and that he ‘needed to kiss Jeff’s ass to stay at [his] zoo and to be the big cat hero on Netflix’.

The pair had bad blood in the wake of Exotic’s sentencing, especially as Cowie reportedly said the former zoo owner was going to ‘die in [prison], so good riddance’.


58-year-old Exotic is currently being held at Fort Worth prison, Texas, and is facing up to 22 years after being found guilty on two counts of murder-for-hire and 17 wildlife charges last year.

Erik Cowie (Netflix)Netflix

Despite Cowie’s harsh words about him ending up behind bars, Exotic expressed his sadness at the news of his death.

He told MailOnline, ‘I’m sad he is gone but the last words he spoke about me backfired. Never wish evil upon anyone else. God is watching.’


Exotic now insists that his criminal case has been helped by Cowie’s passing. ‘What this does for my case is makes it stronger because I can prove Erik perjured himself,’ he said, adding, ‘The Government, Carole Baskin and a few others should be ashamed that they put this all in motion to fabricate this whole thing to steal my zoo and shut me up.’

Exotic continued:

The truth is coming. The world will hate the America[n] Department of Justice. Erik’s blood is on Agent Bryant and Amanda Green’s hands.

Matt Bryant, a US Fish and Wildlife Service agent, testified against the 58-year-old, while Assistant US Attorney Green was the one to prosecute him.


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Topics: Film and TV, Death, Joe Exotic, Now, Tiger King


Niamh Shackleton
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