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Joe Exotic Gives Emotional Update On ‘Aggressive’ Late-Stage Cancer In Emotional Letter From Prison

Poppy Bilderbeck


Joe Exotic 'Aggressive' Cancer Update - Alamy/@joe_exotic/TwitterAlamy/@joe_exotic/Twitter

Tiger King’s Joe Exotic has handwritten a letter to fans from inside prison revealing that he is now suffering from ‘aggressive’ cancer.

The 58-year-old, real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, first rose to fame through the hit Netflix docuseries that graced our screens at the beginning of the pandemic, giving everyone isolating an enthralling insight into his life as a zookeeper.


First diagnosed with prostate cancer on May 14, Exotic’s handwritten letter, posted onto Twitter on November 3, shares a health update with all of his followers.

Having previously tried to enlist the help of former president Donald Trump and Cardi B to gain early release from his 22-year sentence, Exotic has now appealed to the general public over his condition having deteriorated.

Joe Exotic in The Tiger King (Netflix)
Joe Exotic in The Tiger King (Netflix)

Exotic tells fans how doctors called him in to ‘break the news that [his] prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer’.

The letter states: 

Right now I don’t want anyone’s pitty. And I’m sure Carole will have her own party over this.

What I need is the world to be my voice to be released. They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the US Attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones.

The convict concludes that he is awaiting further test results, and asks followers to ‘Say a prayer please’ and ‘Be my voice please’.


Exotic’s lawyer, John M. Phillips, has publicly confirmed the update. He stated that he spoke with the Tiger King on Monday and that the pair were both ‘in tears at a point’.

‘He needs freedom by so many definitions and we are diligent working towards that,’ Phillips concluded.

Exotic was convicted of attempted murder-for-hire of Big Cat Rescue CEO and rival Carole Baskin in 2020, and was subsequently sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.


However, after the release of the first series of Tiger King and his subsequent rise to fame, Exotic accused Judge Scott Palk of being homophobic and claimed that he had fallen victim to malicious prosecution and discrimination – even launching a lawsuit from the confines of his cell.

Exotic’s latest plea follows the announcement of a second series of Tiger King, which saw an explosive trailer released on October 27.

Baskin has since revealed that she is suing Netflix and production company Royal Goode Productions over footage used in the soon-to-be-aired Tiger King 2. 


The series is set to arrive on the streaming service on November 17.

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Topics: News, Cancer, Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic, Now, prison, Tiger King


The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Tiger King’s Joe Exotic pleads for release from prison after revealing ‘aggressive cancer’ diagnosis

Poppy Bilderbeck
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