Tiger King’s Joe Exotic ‘engaged to inmate’ as he serves time in prison

Tiger King star Joe Exotic has reportedly found love behind bars with a fellow inmate. Exotic became a household name following the first season of Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness, which was released in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 59-year-old former zookeeper, who was jailed in 2020 for trying to hire two men to kill his rival Carole Baskin, is now said to be in a relationship with a man called John Graham, Mirror Online reports. Prison letters obtained by TMZ apparently reveal Exotic met Graham when they were housed in the same unit.

In a letter sent to his attorney Autumn Blackledge, he reportedly says it wasn’t long after they met that he and John started seeing each other. He said he had “fell head over heels” for him and described him as an “old soul about 400 years” who “isn’t seeking the limelight” and “loves him for him”.

READ MORE:When was Tiger King’s Joe Exotic put in prison and how long is his sentence?

The couple are said to talk constantly and exchange mail nonstop, with Joe saying it’s a “type of love he has never experienced” before. Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is even said to have proposed to him last year in August.

He was previously convicted on wildlife charges and two counts of attempted murder for hire. Prosecutors claimed he tried to hire two people to kill Baskin – who had criticised his treatment of animals.

His attorneys later argued he wasn’t being serious and he sought an appeal for his conviction after being sentenced to 22 years in jail in 2020. A judge later reduced the sentence to 21 years.

Exotic, who maintains his innocence, also was convicted of killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. In November last year, his lawyer said his client had been transferred to a medical facility for federal inmates after a cancer diagnosis.

Defence lawyer John Phillips said Exotic had told him that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was getting medical treatment and tests “for a host of issues”.