TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Joe Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, has filed a federal lawsuit from prison, seeking $94 million in damages from multiple government agencies and his former business partner, a report says.
According to the lawsuit, acquired by People magazine, the former owner and entertainment director of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma is claiming over $73 million for loss of personal property and research.
People magazine confirms the lawsuit also seeks an additional $15 million for false arrest and false imprisonment, as well as the death of his mother.
Exotic alleges multiple government agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, violated his civil rights.
In the lawsuit, Exotic claims he was targeted, “because [he] is an openly gay male with the largest collection of generic tigers and crossbreeds,” according to People magazine.
Fellow “Tiger King” star and Exotic’s former business partner Jeff Lowe is accused by Exotic of filing false statements.
“Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” – a documentary series about Exotic’s life and arrest – is currently one of the top Netflix shows in the United States.
Exotic is serving 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot after he was convicted of an attempt to hire a hitman to kill Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue owner Carole Baskin. He was also convicted and sentenced for killing five tigers.
Baskin and her big cat sanctuary are also heavily documented in the series. The disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis in 1997, who remains missing to this day, has sparked days of social media debate. Since the Netflix series took off, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has put out a notice seeking leads in Lewis’ disappearance.
Baskin has since spoken out about the documentary series and called it “disappointing.”
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