"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic. Picture: Netflix
"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic. Picture: Netflix

Joe Exotic 'shot at' his reality TV show producer 'three times'

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published Apr 9, 2020

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Joe Exotic "shot at" reality TV show producer Rick Kirkham "three times" whilst he was filming for the show, which never made it to air.

Rick, 61, spent a year living with the eccentric zoo owner to film a reality TV series based on Joe's life which never got made.

And following the release of a new seven-part Netflix documentary on Joe titled "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" - in which Rick featured - the producer has lifted the lid on what it was like spending time with the GW Zoo boss.

He said: "If he had to pull his gun and shoot at you, he'd do it. He shot at me three times. Sometimes we'd be sitting in a TV studio, and somebody would say something he didn't like, and he'd take his gun out and shoot it right through the wall of the TV studio, saying 'You want to f**k with me?' "

The producer insisted there were "several times" in which he was scared for his life whilst filming for the reality show.

Asked if he was ever scared, he added: "Oh, several times. It wasn't just with Joe. There was one time ... The first time he shot at me, I had no idea, I just heard this loud pop and it scared the hell out of me.

"I turned around, and his gun was still smoking. He shot at my feet and he's just laughing his ass off. 'Scared the hell out of you, ha ha ha, next time I'll get you between the eyes. Don't mess with me.' "

Rick also alleged he saw Joe "shoot several animals".

He claimed: "I watched him shoot several animals just because he was p***ed off. He had 12 acres on that park that he was God. And what he said, that was the law of the land."

Joe is currently serving 22 years in prison after being found guilty in 2019 for paying a man $3,000 to kill animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

Directors of his Netflix documentary recently revealed Joe was enjoying his overnight fame, but Rick has claimed the zookeeper would hate the fact he can't "reap the rewards" of his success from behind bars.

He said: "He was just a very evil guy. It's ironic, the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world was this reality show I was shooting, to make him famous.

"He wanted to be famous. And now he's famous and he's sitting in jail.

"He won't be able to stand it, now that he's famous and he can't reap the rewards of his fame.

Rick will be discussing his experience with Joe in detail during an interactive livestream hosted by journalist Per Sundnes on Saturday.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, he teased: "Come Saturday night, I'm going to tell some stories that are blowing your mind on his cruelty. Absolute just cruelty, just because he could.

"That was his whole reason to do these cruel things, because [he thought] had every right to."

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