Louis Theroux admits he found it 'hard to dislike' Joe Exotic

Louis Theroux admits he found it ‘hard to dislike’ Tiger King star Joe Exotic while filming documentary in 2011 – but says his obsession with arch-rival Carole Baskin ‘preoccupied’ him even then

  • Louis, 49, met Joe, 57,  filming 2011 documentary Louis Theroux Dangerous Pets 
  • Has now revealed how he ‘found it hard to dislike’ the Tiger King star at the time  
  • Joe has had a long-running feud with fellow cat enthusiast Carole Baskin
  • Film maker claimed his ‘grudge against Carole preoccupied him’ as they filmed

Louis Theroux has admitted he found it ‘hard to dislike’ Tiger King star Joe Exotic when they filmed a documentary together nearly ten years ago. 

The British filmmaker, 49, met Joe while making 2011 documentary Louis Theroux Dangerous Pets and says his ‘grudge’ against arch-rival Carole Baskin ‘preoccupied him’ even then. 

Big cat breeder Joe, – born Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving 22 years for 17 counts of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot of Carole, a big-cat campaigner from Tampa, Florida. 

But despite Joe’s long-running feud with his rival, Louis told The Sunday Times  he had ‘no idea’ the big cat breeder would be involved in a murder-for hire case, and simply thought he was ‘pretty weird’. 

Louis Theroux, 49, has admitted he found it ‘hard to dislike’ Tiger King star Joe Exotic, 57, when they filmed a documentary together nearly ten years ago (pictured, during filming) 

Louis admitted he found the self-proclaimed Tiger King ‘pretty weird’, and said the animal-lover was preoccupied with his rival Carole Baskin 

Louis revealed: ‘It was hard to dislike the man himself, maybe because he seemed neither to be hiding many of his misdeeds nor to take himself too seriously.’ 

And the British filmmaker revealed that even back then, Joe was obsessed with Carole even when filming his own documentary. 

He said: ‘Joe’s grudge against Carole preoccupied him when we filmed. He would rant about her, mentioning his belief that she’d had one of her husbands killed.’

But despite the on-going feud and Joe’s quirky personality, Louis said he never could have predicted that he would end up being caught up in the murder-for-hire case. 

Carole Baskin (pictured) was depicted at the arch nemesis of Joe Exotic, an animal rights campaigner and CEO of Big Cats Rescue based in Tampa, Florida

The new hit Netflix show The Tiger King explores theories around the disappearance of Baskin’s second husband Jack ‘Don’ King in 1997 have been explored in the new hit Netflix shoe The Tiger King, with Exotic suggesting she may have murdered him.  

In the programme, the eccentric country singer – who ran for President in 2016 and Oklahoma Governor in 2018 – often accused his enemy of having killed her husband in the film, even reading out a copy of her diary to convince viewers of his internet show she was guilty. 

The beef between Joe and Carole  began with the activist’s campaign against the zookeeper, as she alleged that hundreds of lions and tigers in Oklahoma were mistreated at his hands.   

Another subject explored in the documentary was the love-life of the gun-toting openly gay polygamist, with Louis claiming he had a third man in his domestic arrangement while they filmed. 

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as ‘Joe Exotic.’ Maldonado-Passage was convicted in an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, who he has repeatedly accused of killing her husband Jack ‘Don’ Lewis

Joe’s longest marriage was to Brian Rhyne from 1986 to 2001, followed by his union with J. C. Hartpence.

He then had a three-way wedding with Travis Moldonado and John Finlay in 2014, but in 2017, a then 23-year-old Moldonado died after authorities say he accidentally fatally shot himself in the head.

His final marriage was to Dillon Passage in December 2017, with the duo together when Joe was arrest in 2018.  

In a brand new interview with Netflix, Exotic says he is ‘done with the Carole Baskin saga’, is turning over a new leaf and focused on trying to get released from prison and clear his name

Joe yesterday gave his first interview from since the documentary aired, where he claimed he was ‘done with the Carole Baskin saga’, turning over a new leaf and focusing on trying to get released from prison and to clear his name.

‘I’m done with the Carole Baskin saga,’ he said in the interview with Netflix. ‘It’s now time to turn the tables and Joe gets out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges.’ 

According to Joe’s fourth husband, Passage, Exotic was being held in isolation at the Grady County Jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma due to his previous jail having had COVID-19 cases. 

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