Joe Exotic Cancer Update: ‘Tiger King’ Star Transferred to Medical Facility

Joe Exotic

Netflix Joe Exotic

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, was transferred to a North Carolina medical facility by private plane to be treated for prostate cancer, his attorney said in a statement.

“During the late hours of November 16 or early morning hours of November 17, 2021, Joe was taken out of his cell and put on a private plane and transferred from the Ft. Worth Federal Medical Center to the Butner Federal Medical Center to being treatment of his prostate cancer,” Attorney John M. Phillips wrote on Twitter.

Passage, 58, was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2020 for crimes including a murder-for-hire plot to kill Carole Baskin, 60, a fellow big cat enthusiast. The rival big cat keepers were highlighted in a Netflix hit, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.” It premiered at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and reached 34 million U.S. viewers in 10 days, according to People. A second season of the show was released November 17, 2021.

Here’s what you need to know:

Joe Exotic Shared His Diagnosis of ‘Aggressive’ Prostate Cancer in a Written Note Posted on Instagram

Maldonado-Passage’s attorney, John M. Phillips, posted a written note from his client on Instagram November 14, 2021, announcing he had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

“Everyone, 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 [sic] as well,” Maldonado-Passage wrote. “Right now I don’t want anyone’s pity and I’m sure Carole will have her own party over this.”

An Oklahoma judge ordered in July that Joe Exotic would be resentenced.

“What I need is the world to be my voice to be released. They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the U.S. attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones. Say a prayer please. Be my voice please,” Joe Exotic’s note said.

Joe Exotic’s Transfer Was Scheduled for Later in November & His Attorney Hoped He Would Be Transferred to Oklahoma

Phillips wrote in a statement that his client’s transfer was expected to occur later in November 2021. He hoped his client would be transported to a facility in Oklahoma so that he could prepare for upcoming motions to overturn his conviction and for his resentencing.

“He is one of the most passionate, full of life, clients I have ever had the pleasure of representing,” Phillips wrote, and said he last spoke to his client November 1. “Joe informed me that his fears were true. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. As noted in Joe’s recent statements, he has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues.”

The transfer was from the Ft. Worth Federal Medical Center to the Butner Federal Medical Center, the statement said.

“It has been a busy week for Joseph Maldonado. We expect his legal case will be escalating pretty soon,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. “We are aware that federal agents are contacting witnesses. We urge every witness contacted by law enforcement to hire a lawyer.”

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