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Crime News

'Tiger King' Star Joe Exotic Reportedly Refusing Treatment For Spreading Prostate Cancer 

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, best known as the eccentric Joe Exotic of "Tiger King," writes in a letter that he wants to let cancer "take its course."

By Gina Tron
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"Tiger King” star Joe Exotic is reportedly refusing further medical treatment after learning that his prostate cancer is spreading.

“I want to stay here and just let it take its course,” Exotic, 59, purportedly wrote in a letter obtained by TMZ. He indicated that he is not seeking treatment after recently meeting with his urologist, who reportedly suspects that Exotic’s prostate cancer has now spread to his bladder; Exotic has recently been experiencing both blood in his urine and frequent urination, according to the letter. 

The doctor wants the reality star to undergo tests to confirm the development, but Exotic does not seem interested. Exotic, whose given name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, began receiving treatment for prostate cancer in November 2021.

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“The world has to know just how corrupt our justice system is,” he wrote in the letter, according to TMZ. “If I have to be the one to die innocent in here fighting for the truth, maybe people around the world will finally speak up for the truth for once.”

Exotic Joe Netflix

Exotic is currently serving time in U.S. Penitentiary Atlanta, where he has been since November of 2020, following a murder-for-hire conviction. He was transferred there from the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, following his first round of treatments. He was sentenced to 22 years for plotting the murder of rival Carole Baskin, a big cat sanctuary owner animal advocate. For years, he lobbed threats against her through his YouTube channel, as well as thinly veiled allegations that she killed her former husband, Don Lewis. Exotic then attempted to hire a hitman to murder her, which landed him behind bars in 2020. Exotic was also convicted of killing five tigers, falsifying wildlife records, and violating the Endangered Species Act, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Oklahoma. The frenetic drama was chronicled on Netflix's “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” one of the most popular docuseries of 2020.

Since then, Exotic's team has launched several unsuccessful bids to win his freedom, including a failed attempt to have former President Donald Trump pardon him before leaving office. An appeals court did find that his sentence should have been shortened, but a federal judge last year lessened it by just a year. The former zookeeper was hoping that he would get a more lenient sentence as he began his treatment for cancer. He was also gearing up to request a re-trial in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma. But right now, he only seems focused on romance. In his letter, Exotic expressed wanting to spend time with his new fiancé Seth Posey, who is the sole beneficiary in his will, according to TMZ. The two met online following Exotic’s rise to fame.

“I could care less about dying,” Exotic, whose 60th birthday is approaching on March 5, wrote. “My birthday is coming up soon and all I want is to see Seth.”

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