Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage was unexpectedly transferred to a federal medical center this week amid his ongoing battle with cancer.
The “Tiger King” star’s attorney, John M. Phillips, confirmed to Fox News on Friday that Exotic was transferred from the Fort Worth Federal Medical Center in Texas to the Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina “during the late hours of November 16 or early morning hours of November 17.” The reason for his transfer is to be treated in his cancer fight.
The transfer was supposed to occur later this month, Phillips said.
The Butner correctional complex is made up of four prisons and a medical center. Phillips notes in a press release that it’s been home to a number of “celebrity inmates,” including Bernie Madoff.
“He needs cancer treatment, but we hoped the Marshal’s Service and Bureau of Prisons would choose to send him to Oklahoma, so he can prepare for his re-sentencing and upcoming Motions to overturn his conviction,” the lead attorney said.
Phillips has described Exotic as “one of the most passionate, full of life, clients I have ever had the pleasure of representing.” He said Exotic informed him of his prostate cancer diagnosis on Nov. 1.
“As noted in Joe’s recent statements, he has been undergoing medical treatment and tests for a host of issues. The PSA test is a blood test used primarily to screen for prostate cancer. It was high months ago. He finally obtained biopsies. They revealed two cancerous areas. He is undergoing further testing,” Phillips said.
Phillips voiced his concerns with the state of Exotic’s legal case and treatment in prison.
“The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated his sentence and information has revealed significant evidence of fraud and misconduct at his trial. However, prison medical care isn’t the best and justice is slow. It’s a competition of life and liberty no one wants any part of,” Phillips said.
The attorney added: “It is often said, ‘all we have is our health.’ The last few years has taken everything from Joe Exotic – his property, his freedom, his husband sold his clothes, his parents have passed away and now he faces cancer. Please keep Joe in your thoughts and prayers.”
Exotic’s legal team expects a “prompt resentencing and hearing on some of the new evidence discovered.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, “Tiger King” season two debuted on Netflix. The season will be comprised of five episodes. The show will expand on the information presented in the original, including the disappearance of Baskin’s previous husband, Don Lewis.
Due to Exotic’s stint in prison, he has “no access” to be able to watch the new season, Phillips said.