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Tags: netflix | joe exotic | tiger king

'Tiger King' Joe Exotic Is 100 Times Worse In Real Life, Says Niece

joe exotic
Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as "Joe Exotic." (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 09 April 2020 12:34 PM

The Netflix series "Tiger King" has become a cult hit with Joe Exotic at the center of it, and now his niece is speaking out and telling viewers that they don’t realize how “evil” the imprisoned “star” is and revealing acts of cruelty he committed that she watched.

The series delves into the life of Joseph 'Joe Exotic' Maldonado-Passage, who was sentenced to 22 years behind bars for a murder-for-hire plot against animal rights activist Carole Baskin and various federal charges of animal abuse.

However, his niece, Chealsi Putman, told Daily Mail in an interview published Tuesday that the show does not paint an accurate picture of her uncle.

"In the 'Tiger King' Netflix series, you can see glimpses of his evil persona, but in real life, Joe is 100 times worse. I want people to know who the real Joe Exotic is, not the one you've seen on TV," Putman said.

She believed Exotic had good intentions when opening the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. He was a "good guy and genuinely cared for the animals" but over time that changed as the venture grew more lucrative.

Putman accused Exotic of abusing the animals toward the end.

"I've personally witnessed Joe spray a tiger with a fire extinguisher, not out of a safety or for a life-saving reason, but because the tiger didn't react the way Joe had wanted it to," she said, adding that her uncle also sold countless tiger cubs illegally.

"He would either take cash under the table for the sale of the tiger or if someone sent a check, it would be made out to another person, or if the money was wired to a store, it would be in another person's name," Putman said.

She also described how Exotic froze the bodies of dozens of other tiger cubs.

"I have no idea what happened to them, they would just disappear," she said, adding that she once refused her uncle when he asked her to take a dead tiger to a taxidermist in Oklahoma City to get it stuffed.

In addition to selling tiger cubs illegally, Exotic also reportedly sold baby monkeys. Putman recalled how he darted the mother several times to steal her babies.

"He shot a total of five darts into the mother until she dozed off so he could pry the baby monkey away from its arms. I was disgusted by his actions, he's lucky the mother monkey didn't die," Putman said.

Another issue Putman took with her uncle was his relationship with his 38-year-old son, Brandon Chappell. He appears in a few scenes of "Tiger King" but the show does not mention their falling out after Exotic allegedly asked his then daughter-in-law to do seedy financial activities.

The final straw for Putman, who helped the FBI locate Exotic and bring him to justice, was how her uncle fled upon learning that federal agents were after him.

The story Putman tells is very different to Exotic's claims. In "Tiger King" he states that a falling out with former business partner Jeff Lowe prompted him to leave the zoo in 2018 but Putman said this was not the case.

"Joe had been planning on leaving the zoo for some time, unbeknownst to almost everyone. He started to sell everything he could get his hands on in early May 2018. He knew the Feds were onto him and he wanted to get out," she said.

Earlier this week, a video emerged in which Exotic expressed remorse for having kept his animals in cages.

"Go sit in a cage with your animals for a week," he said. "I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I'm ashamed of myself."

The "Tiger King" star also said he was "done with the Carole Baskin saga."

"It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges."

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TheWire
The Netflix series "Tiger King" has become a cult hit with Joe Exotic is at the center of it and now his niece is speaking out and telling viewer that they don't realize how "evil" the imprisoned "star" is and revealing act of cruelty he committed that she watched. The...
netflix, joe exotic, tiger king
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2020-34-09
Thursday, 09 April 2020 12:34 PM
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