The Tiger King is ready to tell his side of the story. Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage’s book, “Tiger King: The Official Tell-All Memoir,” is set to be published in November from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The tell-all will focus on Maldonado-Passage, “a proud polygamist and self-proclaimed ‘gun-toting, gay redneck with a mullet,'” says a description on the publisher’s website. “Joe pulls back the curtain on the man behind the headlines. From a tragic childhood riddled with abuse to his dangerous feuds with big cat rivals and beyond, nothing is off the table.”
Maldonado-Passage rose to fame when Netflix released documentary “Tiger King” at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic.
Exotic told E! News: “It’s going to be a truth-tell book… Everybody that’s ever done anything good, it’s going to be in there and anybody that’s got bones in your closet, you better look out.”
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He continued that while viewers thought “it was all about fame and it was all about money and that’s the furthest from the truth. The only reason I even got into doing the television show at the park, and into doing all the crazy (expletive) I did, was to try to keep my staff and my animals safe. I had to act like a crazy bastard to keep people out of the zoo. I’m going to explain all of that.”
The former wildlife park owner is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence connected to a 2017 murder-for-hire plot to kill his rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin, and for violating federal wildlife laws. Maldonado-Passage was arrested in 2018 and found guilty of 19 counts. In addition to the attempted murder-for-hire he was also found guilty for killing five tigers and the selling of lion and tiger cubs.
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Last year Maldonado-Passage filed an application with the U.S. Department of Justice to request a pardon from President Donald Trump. In addition to the application was a hand-written letter, published in full by CBS News, from Maldonado-Passage to President Donald Trump saying that he voted for Trump in 2016 and asked that the president “grant me a miracle” in the form of a pardon.
He was not included in President Trump’s Jan. 20 full list of pardons. Maldonado-Passage is housed at the Federal Medical Center, a 1,500-inmate facility in Forth Worth, Texas.
Contributing: McKenzie Sadeghi, Charles Trepany,