‘Tiger King’ directors reveal Joe Exotic in isolation for COVID-19

Joe Exotic seen in a Santa Rosa County Jail booking photo. Santa Rosa County Jail via AP

Tiger King star Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, has been placed in self-isolation in a Texas prison after multiple inmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Exotic is currently in prison serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted of hiring a hitman to murder Carole Baskin.

Tiger King creators Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin told The Hollywood Reporter that Exotic is “incarcerated and right now he’s been put into isolation for COVID-19, so he actually is not available” to speak to them at the moment.

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“He’s been cut off from phones, but Joe is somebody who has always wanted to be a star, and so he’s very excited for this to have captured people’s attention the way it did,” Chaiklin revealed about Exotic’s recent popularity.

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Goode confirmed that Exotic has not tested positive for coronavirus.

“He was transferred to a federal penitentiary in Texas and they had to put him in isolation when that transfer took place,” Good told the outlet.

Chaiklin added that “there was COVID-19 in the county prison that he had been held in since September 2018.”

NBC confirms that Exotic has been transferred to a prison medical center in Fort Worth.

The 57-year-old former tiger breeder is being held at the Fort Worth FMC, a medical centre operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

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Dillion Passage, the husband of Exotic, also confirmed that the Tiger King star has entered a “COVID-19 isolation” while speaking to Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM show.

“We speak like three to five times every day, but since he’s been moved to this new facility, they are putting him on a COVID-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases,” Passage said of his husband. “I’ve yet to speak to him since he moved.”

Cohen asked if Exotic is in an individual quarantine and Passage, Exotic’s fourth husband, said, “From what I know, yes.”

Passage, 24, told Cohen that he is still in love with Exotic.

“I do love Joe,” Passage said. “He’s been there for me through my darkest times and I’m not just gonna dip out and abandon him when he needs me most.”

Exotic is currently sentenced to 22 years in prison for two counts of murder-for-hire, nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, and eight counts of violating the Lacey Act by falsifying wildlife records.


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