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SHAQUILLE O’NEAL SAYS ‘TIGER KING’ STAR JOE EXOTIC IS ‘NOT MY FRIEND’
Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020
It’s hard to ignore the phenomenon that is the new Netflix docuseries, Tiger King. It is certainly harder to ignore Shaquille O’Neal’s cameo in it. However, for better or worse, Shaq is explaining that his relationship with Joe Exotic is slim to none.
On “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” he explained he visited the tiger sanctuary when he was travelling from Oklahoma City by bus for basketball. As an avid lover of tigers, he visited a couple times, played with them and donated food. He revealed they went back a few more times and admitted, “we found out that he’s involved with all the stuff, and then, actually, I stopped going.” Exotic is currently serving time for a murder-for-hire plot and has been accused of animal cruelty.
“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.”
Many people have come to Joe Exotic’s defense after watching the series, but don’t expect Shaq to join them.
“I was just a visitor. 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.”
A photo of the famous basketball player alongside Joe Exotic still exists on the G.W. Zoo Instagram.