Joe Exotic's Former Producer Says Tiger King Star Shot a Horse and Fed It to His Tigers



Docuseries director Eric Goode also did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment and it is not clear as to whether or not the alleged incident was withheld from the Netflix project.

Maldonado-Passage has not faced any criminal charges for the alleged horse shooting and his attorney did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Maldonado-Passage is currently in prison after being found guilty in 2019 for paying a hitman $3,000 to kill his rival, Carole Baskin, an animal activist and big-cat lover who runs a sanctuary called the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.

The hit did not go through, and he is currently serving 22 years for the attempted murder plot.

Joe was also found guilty of killing tigers to make room for more big cats at his exotic animal park in Oklahoma.

Since the release of the docuseries, he has filed a federal lawsuit against various government agencies, as well as his former business partner. In his complaint, he is seeking $94 million in damages.

According to the lawsuit obtained by PEOPLE, the former zookeeper and country music singer claimed $73,840,000 is for loss of personal property; 18 years of research; and care of 200 generic tigers and cross-breeds for 365 days a year, at a boarding rate of $60/day per animal.

The additional $15 million is for false arrest, false imprisonment, selective enforcement and the death of his mother, Shirley.

The lawsuit, which was filed against the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and government agents, accuses them of violating his civil rights.

Baskin continues to run Big Cat Rescue (alongside her husband Howard Baskin), but says she’s haunted by some of the past traumas the Netflix series dredged up, including the disappearance of her then-husband Don Lewis.

In a statement provided to PEOPLE, Baskin said, “A lifelong animal lover, I was immediately drawn to the possibility of exposing the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for exploitation and the awful lives these majestic creatures are forced to endure in roadside zoos and back yards.”

Baskin added, “There are no words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that, but has instead chosen to be as salacious and sensational as possible to draw in viewers. As part of that, they devoted an entire segment to 23-year-old lies and innuendos suggesting I was involved in my husband Don’s 1997 disappearance.”

As for how Kirkham feels about Baskin, he told TMZ, “You’re dealing with two peas in a pod,” in reference to Baskin and Maldonado-Passage.

“They’re both one in the same,” Kirkham said.

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