As Tiger King continues to beguile and bewilder viewers with its tale of murder, arson, animal trafficking, polygamy, rivalry and mullets, series star Joe Exotic has filed a $94 million lawsuit claiming he’s the victim of homophobic discrimination.
So yes, the story just got weirder.
Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonato-Passage), launched the lawsuit while serving his 22-year prison sentence for the attempted murder of his big cat rival, Carole Baskin. The Associated Press reports that, among other allegations, the suit claims that Exotic was convicted “based on false and perjured testimony.”
The defendants listed are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted him, and several witnesses in the case.
Exotic claims he was persecuted as “an openly gay male with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds.”
Prior to his murder conviction, Joe Exotic gained notoriety as a would-be country music and reality show star, living in a private zoo in Oklahoma where he kept hundreds of pet tigers. He also raised eyebrows with campaigns for President and the Governorship of Oklahoma, as well as for his polygamous marriage to two men.
Tiger King streams on Netflix.