‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic launches ‘Bachelor King’ contest to find new husband


FILE – In this Aug. 28, 2013, file photo, Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, is seen at the zoo he used to run in Wynnewood, Okla. A federal judge in Oklahoma has ordered the new owners of the Oklahoma zoo featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary to turn over all the lion and tiger cubs in their possession, along with the animals’ mothers, to the federal government. U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III issued the order last week in the case against Jeffrey and Lauren Lowe and the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park based on claimed violations of the Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix docuseries “Tiger King” who is behind bars for plotting to have Carole Baskin killed, is looking for love.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, launched a “Bachelor King” contest this month in hopes that he’ll find a new husband. According to a news release posted to Exotic’s website, men who are 18 and older can fill out an application to become the “next romance in Joe’s new life.”

The top three applicants will win a romantic getaway with the “Tiger King” once he’s released from prison, his website says.

Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison after being convicted of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot involving Carole Baskin, who owns Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. The rivalry between Exotic and Baskin was the subject of “Tiger King.”

The “Tiger King” star had requested a pardon from former President Donald Trump last year and had been expecting a pardon before Trump left office. He did not, however, end up getting the presidential pardon.

But now, according to Exotic’s website, his legal team believes he’ll be out of prison soon.

“Joe Exotic’s criminal attorney, John Phillips and his office of attorneys out of Jacksonville, Florida, is confident that, with all the new evidence that has been obtained proving conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury by federal agents, and witnesses, in addition to prosecutor misconduct and the federal judge being a long-time friend of one of the main witnesses in Joe’s case, that he will be freed by the end of the year, if not sooner,” the release says.

The online news release does mention Exotic’s current husband, saying that, “Dillon has made it clear that Joe will always be in his life and they will always love each other, but may not continue to be his husband after all that has happened.”

“The opportunity to start a romantic relationship with the now famous Joe Exotic, the Tiger King, is open for discussion, as Joe is going to waste no time in getting started with his new life when released,” the announcement continues.

Applications for “The Bachelor King” can be found on Joe Exotic’s website. The contest is open now through Sept. 25 and winners will be announced on October 6.

“I have been through hell in three years and I intend on making my new life something I have always dreamed of and I want to spend it with someone that can take a relationship serious and be in love and enjoy this ride, and make this about us as a team, not just me or the man I choose to carry on with,” Exotic said in a statement. “I want to share this with someone great.”

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