It’s the docu-series that has taken the country by storm. Yes, we are talking about the number one watch in America, Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. To say Tiger King is not a compelling watch would be an understatement. It is a seven-part true story involving some crazy-ass people that centers around one in particular, Joe Exotic.
Of course, there are some other need-to-see-to-believe characters as well and yes, there are the tigers. One of the other characters in this binge-worthy series, Carole Baskin, falls into the “murder” portion of the title. There are many out there who believe she offed her second husband.
Carole Baskin Awarded Control Of Joe Exotic’s Zoo
Much of Netflix’s Tiger King documentary involves Joe Exotic’s fight against Carole Baskin, a self-styled animal rights activist who Joe believes is trying to stage a takeover of his zoo. Joe’s entire life is dedicated to fighting Carole and he eventually went to prison for plotting to kill her.
Now in an ironic twist, Carole Baskin is indeed taking over Joe Exotic’s zoo. According to Courthouse News, a Federal judge has just ruled that Joe must hand over control of his zoo to Baskin’s rival Big Cat Rescue organization.
The ruling awards Baskin all of Joe’s property, several of the cars and cabins on it, but strangely enough none of the actual animals on it. Those must be removed by the current zoo operator within 120 days.
The ruling is as a result of the 2013 copyright infringement case in which Joe was ordered to pay Carole Baskin $1 million dollars for infringing on her logo. Joe never paid that money and he transferred control of the zoo to his mother in 2016 to keep it out of the hands of creditors. The judge ruled that transfer was fraudulent and nullified it, resulting in Carole getting the property.
Why Shaq Is In Tiger King
The Netflix creative team of Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode do a fantastic job of not only conducting their own interviews and footage but culling footage from various other outlets or social media to piece together this must-watch series. And to throw more “crazy” in there, let’s add former NBA superstar, 4-time NBA champion and current TNT sports analyst Shaquille O’Neal to the mix.
Somehow, the Big Diesel has become even bigger news as it was revealed in the series that he has visited Joe Exotic’s G.W. Zoo on more than one occasion and also made donations to the zoo.
Shaq addressed his involvement with Joe Exotic, the zoo and the donations via his podcast, “The Big Podcast” in efforts to dispel the notion that he was good friends with Exotic.
Shaq says, “I forgot what year it was. Anyway, Dallas was playing OKC. Instead of flying back and forth mean and Alex we get on the Shaq bus. On the way we see a sign that says Tiger Sanctuary. So, we go in there and it’s a beautiful place and the character that was there was Exotic Joe. We went there and dropped some donation for the tiger foods and all that. We took pictures with tigers and went back a couple of times. Then we go back another time and we found out that he’s involved with all the stuff and then, actually, I stopped going. But I had no idea all that stuff was going on.”
The U.S. is littered with roadside attractions and those involving tigers can really bring people in. There is a certain fascination with these large cats. So Shaq stopping in to see what they are all about isn’t unheard of, though it is pretty rare a person of his stature would do so. But via his podcast, he wanted to make sure all knew that he and Joe Exotic weren’t buds.
Shaq explains, “I was just a visitor. I met this guy. Not my friend. Don’t know him. Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on. People that know me know that I’m righteous. I don’t harm tigers. I love tigers. We found out that he’s involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going.”
While Shaq has seen the final Tiger King product and feels the documentary was well-made, he again wanted to assure everyone his relationship, or lack thereof, with Joe Exotic, “People gonna make their own opinions, but again, I was just a visitor. I met this guy. Not my friend. Don’t know him. I did not have any business dealing with him and I did not know all that stuff was going on.”
We believe you Shaq. Give him a listen here and if you’re in the mood for some craziness, Tiger King on Netflix is where to find it.