Joe Exotic rose to fame on hit Netflix docuseries Tiger King and is currently behind bars but is determined to get his sentence cut as he maintains his innocence
Joe Exotic has had his “eyes opened” during his time in prison, according to his Power of Attorney Tami Springer, who also claimed he had been targeted because of his sexuality.
The former zookeeper, who rose to fame on Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in January 2020 after being convicted of trying to hire two separate men to kill Carole Baskin.
Joe – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – maintains his innocence, but prosecutors said he had offered an undercover FBI agent $10,000 to kill Carole, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.
And while he continues to fight for his freedom despite having an appeal rejected earlier this year, Tami claims his time behind bars has “changed him forever”.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said: “Joe is a fighter and he speaks his mind.”
She went on to claim: “His eyes have been opened to the corruption within the government and criminal justice system, and that includes US prisons.
“He is strong-willed and is coping as well as possible, but the horrors of prison have changed him forever. He beat COVID in prison, he beat cancer, and now he has to beat the system and gain his freedom.”
Tami alleges Joe has been targeted in prison because of his sexuality and says he’s been “mistreated a lot” behind bars.
She continued: “I posted a video on his social media recently reading his appeal to the BOP for an infraction that he was punished excessively for that was totally fabricated.
“He believes he is targeted because of his lifestyle and being gay. A guard commented negatively on his tattooed eyeliner and told him she would make sure he got written up a lot.
“I won’t go into more detail here, but he has been abused and mistreated a lot in prison, and I think most people would be shocked if they knew it all.”
Mirror Online has contacted the Federal Medical Centre where Joe is being held for comment.
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