Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic has revealed that he has been diagnosed with aggressive cancer.
Joe was the star of a documentary series called Tiger King about his life as the owner of an exotic animal zoo in Florida, United States. He gave himself the name Joe Exotic.
He is currently serving a 22-year sentence for his involvement in planning the murder of Carole Baskin, his rival in the exotic animal industry.
In a letter circulated on social media, Joe said that he believes in his innocence and would like to be released from prison so that he could “enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones”. He asked for the world to be his voice and make his plea known to everyone while emphasising that he doesn’t want anyone’s pity.
The BBC reports that Joe’s lawyer John M Phillips confirmed the cancer diagnosis in a tweet.
“He and I spoke Monday with both of us in tears at a point. He needs freedom by so many definitions and we are diligent(ly) working towards that.”
Joe is scheduled to have a resentencing trial in four months, but his lawyer fears that it might be too late then.
Image credit: IGN Africa