'Tiger King' Joe Exotic says he has been diagnosed with aggressive form of prostate cancer

Thursday, November 4, 2021
'Tiger King' Joe Exotic diagnosed with prostate cancer
The personality behind the hit 2020 docuseries Tiger King announced that he has cancer.

Joseph Maldonado, known as Joe Exotic on the 2020 Netflix docuseries "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, according to a letter written by Maldonado.

"It is with a sad face that I have to tell you the doctors called me in today to break the news that my prostate biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer. I am still waiting on the results from other test as well," he wrote in a letter provided to CNN by his attorney John M. Phillips.

"Right now, I don't want anyone's pity," he added.

Maldonado has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues, according to his attorney.

WATCH: Sheriff seeking tips in 'Tiger King' mystery: What happened to Carole Baskin's husband?

For those who aren't up to speed, here's a "Tiger King" primer: Carole Baskin is the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida. Tiger King, the documentary, is about Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as "Joe Exotic," a former Oklahoma zookeeper who loves guns, younger men, and big cats.

"The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. It was high. He finally obtained biopsies. They revealed cancer. Medical care is different in a prison environment and fewer options are available," Phillips said.

Maldonado was convicted in 2019 in a murder-for-hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin as well as other crimes that include animal abuse. Baskin, who owns a tiger sanctuary in Florida and had secured a million-dollar judgment against him, had a longstanding feud with Maldonado that was chronicled in the "Tiger King" series.

Maldonado is due to be resentenced following a court order in July. The US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated Maldonado's 264-month prison sentence upon appeal.

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