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'Tiger King' Joe Exotic Transferred To 'Bottom Of Hell' Federal Prison In Atlanta
Following a year-long stint in a prison medical facility in North Carolina to receive treatment for prostate cancer, Joseph Maldonado-Passage was transferred to a medium-security facility, which he claims has some serious issues.
Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix docuseries "Tiger King," has some choice words for the people in charge of his new digs as the U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta.
"I have officially landed at the bottom of hell, at the Federal Prison in Atlanta GA," the Joe Exotic Instagram page announced on his behalf on Thursday. "The Animals at the Atlanta Zoo are living better then your loved ones are in here I promise."
Representatives for Exotic, whose given name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, had told followers on Oct. 26 that they expected him to be transferred out of the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, where he began receiving treatment for prostate cancer in November 2021.
"He is being transferred to a different hospital," his representatives wrote on Instagram. His lawyer, John Phillips, indicated at the same time that his cancer treatments, at least, were in the past. Exotic's destination within the federal prison system remained an unknown until Thursday.
On Oct. 28, another post to Exotic's Instagram account indicated that he would continue receiving some medical treatment as his new destination.
"Stuff is packed up and ready to move to the new prison. Too bad I won't see it for 2 months," a representative posted on his behalf. "Sent Seth all of my food so it doesn't spoil. When I get to the new place next week, will have nothing. But at least I will get new doctors."
(Seth is the man with whom Exotic partnered from prison after the relationship with his husband fell apart post-sentencing. Seth and Exotic dated until Exotic got engaged to another inmate, who reportedly broke things off after his release earlier this year, after which Exotic and Seth reconciled, according to TMZ.)
Following his post about the conditions at USP Atlanta — a medium security prison that was the subject of a 10-month Senate investigation which found widespread "misconduct, abuse, and corruption" over nearly a decade — Exotic's Instagram account posted a picture of an email he wanted to send to the Instagram-only news site "Atlanta Uncensored," which reposted his initial allegations.
"After your story broke, they threatened to lock me down for causing them a mess in the media and was called into the Administrators office for nearly an hour," he wrote. "Since being in custody I have seen more drugs than I ever saw on the street, I watched young and old people die from overdoses, kill themselves and die from lack of medical care."
(Exotic's account had previously posted about his negative experiences with drugs and poor health care in the prison system, including as recently as Oct. 23.)
He then reiterated his innocence and desire for a pardon, suggesting, in the absence of one, that he would run for president in 2024 as a libertarian.
In a subsequent post on Friday afternoon, his account added, "When you the people allow yourselves and your loved ones to be treated worse than an Ape in a #zoo here in #America, it's only your fault for not standing up to the people you #vote into office."
Exotic is currently appealing his re-sentencing for his conviction on federal charges of animal abuse and orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin. He had been sentenced to 22 years in prison, but his lawyers successfully argued that his attempts to hire two men to kill her were part of the same overarching murder-for-hire plot. He was then re-sentenced to 21 years in January.