Great Britain

Prison launches investigation into Joe Exotic’s welfare days after pals claimed Tiger King could DIE behind bars

PRISON bosses have launched an investigation into Tiger King star Joe Exotic's welfare just days after pals expressed fears that he could die behind bars.

Authorities launched a probe after Exotic's close pal Eric Love told The Sun how he feared the TV star may die in prison due to alleged poor treatment by staff and lack of medical care inside.

Exotic, convicted of hiring a hitman to kill his nemesis Carol Baskin, and his campaigner Love thanked The Sun for raising his concerns against FMC Fort Worth Prison saying it "put the prison on notice through a global platform that this grievance should be looked at."

The star of Netflix hit Tiger King is serving 22 years after a federal jury in Oklahoma convicted him of two counts of murder-for-hire, falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.

Love, who speaks to Exotic several times a day, has been campaigning for his release by assembling a group called Team Tiger - made up of attorneys, PIs and friends who believe he is innocent.

Last week Love revealed that Exotic was fighting for his life as he was allegedly not being given sufficient medical treatment to fight his common variable immune deficiency (CVID) and being treated badly by guards who wouldn't even give him a change of clothes.

Now Love said Exotic has just received his first infusion for his CVID immune issues in over four months - even though he "ideally needs them every 30 days."

He has also revealed Exotic has had his first change of clothes in nearly six months since arriving at the FMC Fort Worth Prison.

Love claims that officials have also taken action to separate staff, who have allegedly tormented the reality star.

Speaking from his Fort Worth home, Love said: “I understand an internal investigation has been launched... I've been pushing for this investigation for a long time.

"And things have changed already. Joe has had his first change of uniform and shoes since he arrived there in March. He got them almost immediately after the grievance and is glad to finally have clean clothing after seven months.

"A week after the grievance was filed and the story came out, Joe received his infusion on November 17.

“His last infusion was 120 days before that and he needs them each month.

“So Joe is doing better, he is a little more optimistic now and feels we are making strides with his situation.

"But it is difficult for the man, because he is innocent and every day incarcerated is tough. He knows that we have pinpointed what we feel are mistakes in the prosecution and what we feel is a cover up.

"But of course you can understand that every day he is in jail, he is still sad."

He added: “They [prison officials] may not have taken my grievance seriously at first, but they do take the news media seriously.

“The Sun's article put them on notice on a global scale about Team Tiger’s concerns."

Another source confirmed that Exotic was getting better treatment, but was seen by some staff as a troublemaker: “I had an inmate call me today that was released this last week and he gave me some insight.

“He said,'They don’t like him. He is a problem, because he brings baggage of mail and notoriety.'"

Love, who famously drove to Washington from Texas in a bus emblazoned with the words Free Joe Exotic on the side this summer, is optimistic especially as POTUS’ son Don Junior supports his case.

He is confident that Trump may even pardon him this week.

“I hope by Thanksgiving we'll have the pardon. We’ve all prayed about it, we’ve talked about it, we’ve tried to get on every outlet we can to release information and it is only behoove President Trump to release someone that’s been targeted, just like he and folks in his administration, to let Joe go home.

“There’s folks in federal prison who have literally killed someone and they were guilty of killing someone and they got 10 years. Joe has been served this sentence.

“Nobody ever thought he would get this kind of time, and there are no victims, and Joe’s innocent. We feel like we’re awfully due for the pardon. We feel like to right the wrong, President Trump should give us the pardon. And when you start looking at prison sentences, they’re so out of whack."

The Sun reached out to FMC Fort Worth for comment.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons told The Sun: "For safety, security, and privacy reasons, we decline to comment."

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