Joe Exotic gives health update after revealing cancer scare

Tiger King star Joe Maldonado-Passage — best known as Joe Exotic — revealed he may have prostate cancer in a message to fans on social media Friday. 

The Netflix star and former zoo operator, who is currently serving a 22-year sentence at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, told fans that his medical records show a high PSA [prostage-specific antigen] count, indicating that he has prostate cancer. It's unclear if the 58-year-old was formally diagnosed with cancer, though his message notes that his prison (Federal Medical Center Fort Worth) "has approved testing to verify what stage it is in."

Maldonado-Passage went on to share that "my body is tired, I have lost a tremendous amount of weight, the mouth sores are out of control, I throw up more than I eat."

He added that, while he doesn't "want anyone's pity," he would like a pardon from President Joe Biden. According to Maldonado-Passage, who was found guilty of taking part in a murder-for-hire plot against fellow Tiger King star Carole Baskin as well as violating federal wildlife laws the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act, his attorney, John M. Phillips, is pursuing new evidence to convince Biden that "it's not just city cops out of control with corruption, but his very own Department of Justice." 

He hopes that the president can "make this right and sign that pardon that Trump left behind so I can go home and get proper medical care and proper food." (Though Maldonado-Passage publicly called on former President Donald Trump to "be my hero please" — with his lawyers arranging for a limo to pick him up from prison — the 45th president declined to include him among the final pardons issued shortly before leaving office in January. Maldonado-Passage later fumed that he was denied a pardon on the grounds of being "too innocent and too GAY." 

John Phillips has received my medical records from FMC Fort Worth and my PSA count came back very high for prostate cancer. The prison has approved testing to verify what stage it is in. My body is tired, I have lost a tremendous amount of weight, the mouth sores…

— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) May 14, 2021

Maldonado-Passage — who asked fans to "wish me luck" — shared a health update on Saturday, telling followers that he'll meet with an oncologist and urologist in the coming weeks. He also plans to undergo a series of procedures to "find everything," including a colonoscopy, endoscopy and a biopsy investigating a "tumor" he says he has below his ribs. 

Update: I have an appointment on the 27th with the oncologist and June 1 with the urologist. Now they report a biopsy will also be scheduled on a tumor on my right side below my ribs. Also scheduling a colonoscopy and endoscopy to find everything.

— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) May 15, 2021

Meanwhile, Phillips, his attorney, has issued his own statement regarding his client's health issues.

"As noted in Joe’s recent statement, he has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues," Phillips shared. "The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. The test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. Joe’s test results were high. He’s scheduled to undergo further testing. Medical care is different in a prison environment and fewer options are available. Please keep Joe in your thoughts and prayers while we try to get him a new trial."

Maldonado-Passage had one other bit of news to share unrelated to his health. The Tiger King star claims that Nicolas Cage will no longer play him in a movie; the Oscar winner is actually attached to star in as-yet-untitled scripted TV series for Amazon. 

"I will not get excited about anyone playing Joe Exotic except ME, Joe Exotic Tiger King, and I will tell my own damn story," Maldonado-Passage told fans. 

My LA attorney says the movie about me starring Nicolas Cage has been cancelled. While he is a talented actor and may have done a decent job playing me, I will not get excited about anyone playing Joe Exotic except ME, Joe Exotic Tiger King, and I will tell my own damn story.

— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) May 15, 2021

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