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Tiger King Joe Exotic stays in prison, gets sentence reduced by a year

Tiger King star Joseph Maldonado-Passage has prostate cancer and says he fears he'll die in prison.

Joe Exotic won't be out of prison anytime soon.

Tiger King star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, will remain in a Texas prison. But the former zoo owner's sentence was reduced by one year, to 21 years, after a resentencing hearing by a federal judge on Friday.

Maldonado-Passage, 58, expressed concern that he won't survive his sentence, the Associated Press reported

"Please don't make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free," he said.

Maldonado-Passage announced in late 2021 that he has prostate cancer.

He came to fame in 2020 when the Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness became a huge hit during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The show revealed his feud with animal-rights activist Carole Baskin, and Maldonado-Passage was convicted of trying to hire two separate men to kill his rival. His original sentence was 22 years in federal prison. In July 2021, a federal appeals court ruled that the two separate attempts should have been treated as one conviction, meaning a slightly shorter sentencing range.

Maldonado-Passage has been in and out of the news as different streaming services and networks have offered various updates and takes on the Tiger King scandal. A new series, Joe vs. Carole, starring SNL comedian Kate McKinnon as Baskin, and John Cameron Mitchell as Maldonado-Passage, is coming to the streaming Peacock series on March 3. Netflix's own follow-up series, Tiger King 2, came out in November but didn't stir nearly as much attention as the first show.