Tiger King’s Joe Exotic Suing From Prison For Almost $94 Million

by : Emma Rosemurgey on :
Tiger King's Joe Exotic Suing From Prison For $94 MillionTiger King's Joe Exotic Suing From Prison For $94 Million

Joe Exotic, the unusual and eccentric tiger breeder from Netflix’s latest docuseries Tiger King, has launched a lawsuit from prison.

The King of the Cats is claiming a huge conspiracy led him to being locked up, as well as to the death of his mother.


Joe, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado Passage, was one of the biggest names in the cat business, and now he’s claiming for almost $94 million, according to reports.

This next part of the article contains spoilers for Netflix’s Tiger King. Check out the trailer here:

Exotic ran a hugely popular zoo in Oklahoma until he was found guilty of a murder-for-hire plot in 2019.


However, TMZ says it has seen new legal documents in which the animal trainer claims he was falsely arrested and imprisoned after falling victim to a malicious prosecution and discrimination.

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 he says was done with the sole purpose of targeting businesses like his, and putting him out of business.

In the documents he reportedly equates this to ‘stealing my property and promoting an animal rights agenda’.

Tiger King's Joe Exotic Suing From Prison For $94 MillionNetflix

Joe is also said to have claimed 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’.

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The suit claims he wants $78,840,000 for the loss of his personal property and for 18 years worth of his work with tigers.

With regards to his criminal conviction, Exotic is pursuing several people who were involved in his case, including his former business partner Jeff Lowe, who Exotic claims lied to the federal police and planted evidence against him.


He also accuses a former colleague of being an informant and claims this contributed to the death of his mother, Shirley.

The 57-year-old is seeking a further $15 million for this.

Joe said in statement on his Facebook page:

This lawsuit has been filed in the name of justice, the Trump administration must be made aware of the overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the oath of their position which is truth and Justice for all,


Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence at the Grady County Jail in Chickashi, Oklahoma, for a murder-for-hire plot as well as violating the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act.

His story is documented on Tiger King, which is available on Netflix now.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Animals, Joe Exotic, Netflix, Tiger King


  1. TMZ