Netflix's Tiger King Star Joe Exotic Hires Attorney in Hopes of Getting New Trial

After failing to earn his expected presidential pardon earlier this year, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness star Joe "Exotic" Maldonado-Passage has hired a new attorney in hopes of securing a new trial that could earn him his freedom. Attorney John M. Phillips shared the news on Twitter that he was moving forward on getting Exotic released from prison, while also mocking the efforts of Exotic's previous legal team. Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence for multiple accounts of animal abuse, in addition to charges related to hiring someone to attempt to kill Carole Baskin for $10,000.

"Work has already begun on [Joe Exotic]'s New Trial Motion," Phillips posted on Twitter. "We are proud to be leading his team. I was sworn into the Western District of Oklahoma this morning. This isn't about tigers, television, or tomfoolery, it's about justice and evidence. More soon."

Exotic rose to fame with the debut of Tiger King on Netflix last year, not only due to the series featuring a cast of larger-than-life figures, but also the timing of the streaming debut coinciding with the global coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine, which saw a massive surge in streaming consumption. In the almost-year since the program's debut, a number of its stars have become pop-culture figures, including Baskin going on to become a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Exotic, however, hasn't been able to capitalize on his newfound fame.

Exotic caught the attention of Baskin early in his career, as he would take tiger cubs to various locations throughout the Midwest to allow the public to play with them, with Baskin often contacting local authorities to have these events shut down. Exotic instead opted to open his own private zoo, allowing guests to come to him, while also attempting to expose alleged abuse at Baskin's Big Cat Rescue. The rivalry escalated to the point that Exotic would violently attack effigies of Baskin on his internet show, ultimately leading to his attempts to hire someone to murder Baskin.

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Stay tuned for details on the future of Tiger King.

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