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Even from jail, the seemingly endless real-life battles between the stars of the hit Netflix show Tiger King don’t end.
In his very first jailhouse interview, Joe Exotic, who missed out on a Trump pardon last year, tells Carole Baskin—whose targeting in a murder-for-hire plan is what put Joe behind bars for 21 years—that "enough is enough."
The 58-year-old convicted felon spoke to Nightline co-anchor JuJu Chang about his current health condition. "I'm losing weight real bad and the sores in my mouth are unbearable to live with all the time," he said. "In the three-and-a-half years that I've been in custody, I've been taken to the hospital 43 times. I have little to no immune system and then they have to give me blood infusions every four weeks. Juju, I don't see me walking out of here alive."
He went on to describe what living in jail is actually like. "You have no windows, it's just a concrete room with no enrichment, no TV, no radio, no nothing," he said. "You cannot, in America, put a monkey in a cage, according to the Animal Welfare Act, and treat them like this."
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When asked directly about his relationship with Carole, Joe said, "I am in prison and she can't leave me alone. So what would I like to say? Carole, go find another reason to live other than Joe Exotic because enough is enough."
Believe it or not, although Tiger King catapulted him to fame, Joe also revealed that he has not ever actually watched any of the episodes that aired on the streaming platform, admitting, though, to having received and responded to over 11,000 letters. "I get letters from 8-year-old kids to 95-year-old grandmas and every letter says it's because I was unapologetic, I stood up for what I believed in and because I'm not ashamed of who I am," he said.
The reality TV star and former exotic zoo owner also used his air time to complain about life post-show, discussing how hard it has been to capitalize on his notoriety. "Get on the Internet and Google 'Joe Exotic' and hit the shop button and look— everyone in the world is making money off of me but me," he said.
Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.
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