‘Not my friend’: Shaquille O’Neal distances himself from Joe Exotic after he’s shown posing with cubs in hit Netflix series Tiger King
published : | Updated: : (BST, (March)
He made an appearance in Netflix ‘s’ must binge ‘docuseries Tiger King.
But Shaquille O’Neal wants it to be known that doesn’t mean he’s pals with or even a fan of the now imprisoned Joe Exotic.
‘I was just a visitor,’ the basketball legend, , said in an episode of his The Big Podcast With Shaq . ‘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. ‘
Setting the record straight: He’s shown in an episode of Netflix’s docuseries Tiger King visiting Joe Exotic and interacting with tiger cubs. But Shaq O’Neal insists he’s not a friend of the now imprisoned felon
In the show, Shaq is shown visiting the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma where Joe Exotic – real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage – kept and bred tigers.
He interacts with Tiger cubs including a rare white one during the 2019 visit and says Joe gifted him a young cub.
In his podcast, the former LA Lakers star insisted: ‘I don’t harm tigers. I love tigers. I love white tigers. Do I put donations to these zoos to help these tigers out? I do it all the time. Do I own tigers personally at my house? No. But I love tigers. ‘
Big cat fan:’ I was just a visitor, ‘the basketball legend, 48, said in an episode of his The Big Podcast With Shaq. ‘I don’t harm tigers. I love tigers. I love white tigers’
Criminal: Tiger King tells the story of Joe Exotic – real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage – who kept and bred tigers at Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. In 2019, he was convicted of animal cruelty and murder-for-hire and is serving years in federal prison
He added: ‘We’re there and I dropped some donations for the tigers’ foods and all that . We take pictures with tigers. We went back a couple 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.’
In 183990, Joe Exotic was convicted on federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of murder-for-hire for a plot to kill Carole Baskin, the chief executive officer of Big Cat Rescue, an animal rescue organization for exotic cats.
He is currently serving 31 years in federal prison in Texas.
Sports legend: O’Neal, considered one of the NBA’s greatest players of all time, had a career spanning six teams over two decades