Joe Exotic, star of ‘Tiger King,’ reveals ‘aggressive cancer’ diagnosis

Joseph Allen Moldonado-Passage gained fame and notoriety when his alter ego, Joe Exotic, was featured in last year’s popular Netflix series Tiger King.

He is now serving a lengthy sentence in federal prison, where he recently announced that he was diagnosed with an “aggressive” form of cancer.

“Say a prayer everyone”

According to the Washington Examiner, the disease was found during a prostate biopsy.

Referencing his rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin, Modonado-Passage shared the troubling health update in a tweet this week.

“Doctors called me in today to break the news that my biopsy came back with an aggressive cancer, Carole Will have her own party over this!” he wrote. “Say a prayer everyone & be my voice.”

His feud with Baskin served as the driving force behind the Netflix series. He was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison after he was convicted in 2020 on charges related to violations of federal wildlife laws as well as his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot against Baskin.

The tweet on Wednesday featured an old photo of Moldonado-Passage with a tiger club and a letter he wrote from prison in which he reiterated his claim of innocence. He is hoping to be released from prison to obtain cancer treatment and live the remainder of his life outside of a cell.

Becoming a star from behind bars

It was several months after he was sentenced that Tiger King became a hit during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Netflix announced last month that it would be bringing the series back for a second season, which is set to feature unaired footage and updates on those featured in the first season.

Moldonado-Passage unsuccessfully sought clemency from former President Donald Trump in the months prior to the 2020 election.

Although he did not receive a commutation or pardon at that time, the Associated Press reported in July that an appeals court determined his sentence was too long and ordered it to be truncated by a lower court.

Even with a shorter sentence, it would be unlikely for him to be released any time in the near future. It remains to be seen whether his cancer diagnosis will have any impact on the length of his prison term.

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