Tiger King: Joe Exotic's False Arrest Lawsuit Sees Major Setbacks

Tiger King star Joe Exotic's $89 million false arrest lawsuit has just been hit with two major legal setbacks. According to Deadline, a federal judge advocated on Tuesday that the lawsuit, which was first initiated on March 17 be thrown out then, on Wednesday, a separate judge rejected Exotic's attempt to force a recusal in the case. Exotic is representing himself in both this multi-million dollar civil lawsuit as well as an appeal of his criminal case.

In the case, Exotic alleges his 2019 conviction on two counts of murder for hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act, and nine violations of the Endangered Species Act stem from what he called an "entrapment scheme" as well as a "malicious prosecution to further and (sic) animal rights agenda." On Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Suzanne Mitchell noted that, essentially, the civil case can't be brought until his criminal appeal is heard.

As for the request for recusal, Exotic filed on Monday asking U.S. District Judge Scott Palk to recuse himself from the case so that an "unbiased" judge could take over the case, with Exotic claiming that Palk -- who sentenced him to 22 years in prison on his criminal conviction -- made "hostile and agitated remarks" toward him during sentencing (via The Oklahoman). He also noted in his filing that the judge had previously presided over other civil cases involving Exotic, his zoo, and his mother.

“In sum, the undersigned has carefully reviewed the grounds upon which Plaintiff seeks recusal and finds those grounds are insufficient to warrant the requested relief,” Palk stated in his order. “There is no objective basis upon which to find judicial bias or lack of impartiality,” Palk adds. “It is therefore ordered that Plaintiff’s Motion to Recuse is denied.”

This setback is just the latest point of interest when it comes to Exotic. The former zookeeper shot to fame ad captured the public imagination thanks to Netflix's hit docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. Since its debut on March 20, the series has become wildly popular on the streaming service. A limited series based on Exotic's wild story is also in the works with SNL star Kate McKinnon executive producing as well as starring as Exotic's nemesis, Carole Baskin.


You can check out the official synopsis for Tiger King below.

"Among the eccentrics and cult personalities in the stranger-than-fiction world of big cat owners, few stand out more than Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Charismatic but misguided, Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats, and the status and attention their dangerous menageries garner. But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, stoking a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner."

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