'Tiger King is over': Joe Exotic speaks from Florida jail, says he's forgiven everybody

'Tiger King is over': Joe Exotic speaks from Florida jail, says he's forgiven everybody


Joseph Maldonado, better known as Joe Exotic, is speaking out from a Florida jail.

In an interview with WALA, the former big cat businessman addressed the Netflix documentary, life in jail and Carole Baskin. Maldonado was convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme involving Carole Baskin.

But recently, he was brought to the Santa Rosa County Jail for a civil lawsuit he filed involving copyright infringement for his country music. In an interview with WALA, he says there are misconceptions to clear up, including accusations of animal abuse.

You know, I’ve never seen the show, so I must go off what people have told me, and some of the comments I get on social media. I have never in my life, even now, been accused or charged with animal cruelty or animal abuse by any law enforcement agency other than PETA. I’m not in here for animal abuse. I’m in here for taking five endangered species without a permit. They claimed I should have had a permit to euthanize my five sick tigers," he said.

In addition to his murder-for-hire charges, he was also convicted of killing five tigers in 2017 without a veterinarian present.

These days, Joe Exotic says he's moving on and working for his freedom.

"I don’t even blame Carole. We were at war for years, making money off each other. I’ve forgiven everybody, even James and Jeff because they need it. Could I walk out of here tomorrow and forget every one of them people? That’s my goal. 'Tiger King' is over. This is about Joe getting out of jail. They’re never going to be movie stars. It’s over. It’s time to let it go," he said.

He says he won't go back to owning animals, saying he's over the "harassment" from animal rights advocates. What will he do when he's free?

"First thing I’m going to do is go to 7-Eleven and get a pack of Marlboro Lights. Second thing I’m going to do is go to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and hang on to Seth like he’s never going anywhere else again. Then, I have been offered a world tour to do a concert, and then my long-time goal is to testify in front of Congress about prison and justice reform," he said.


Back to blog