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What Was Shaq Doing With Joe Exotic from 'Tiger King'?

By Kate Hudson | Celebrity | April 1, 2020 |

By Kate Hudson | Celebrity | April 1, 2020 |


Tiger King left me with many questions after watching it (for the first time. There’s no way I won’t watch it again…) What’s going to happen to Jeff Lowe? Why did that dude decide to water ski halfway through his interview? Who else is going to go to prison?! (Because other people in that doc definitely need to go to prison, yes?!)

That show is a series of “WTF” moments, so you’ll forgive me if I haven’t gotten to one of the earlier, and frankly, mundane moments in it—mainly, what the hell was Shaquille O’Neal doing hanging out with Joe Exotic, an a*shole, and someone whose video of musing why white people can’t use the n-word recently surfaced on social media:

(That video is neither here nor there, I’m just using it to remind everyone that while Joe Exotic is very entertaining, he’s a very bad person who belongs in prison.)

Anyway, of course people have been giving Shaq s*it for hanging out with an a-hole like Joe Exotic, who remember, is in jail not only for trying to have Carole Baskin murdered, but also, murdering five of his own tigers, too. So f*ck that guy!

If you think Shaq is trying to distance himself from all of this, you are one of those cool cats and/or kittens I’ve been hearing so much about, because he most definitely is my friends.

This is what he has to say on the matter, per NBC News:

“Listen, people are going to make their own opinions, but, again, I was just a visitor. I met this guy — not my friend. Don’t know him,” O’Neal said of Exotic on the most recent episode of his podcast “The Big Podcast With Shaq.” “Never had any business dealings with him, and I had no idea any of that stuff was going on.”

He continued:

“I don’t harm tigers,” O’Neal said. “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.”

Also Shaq still has photos on his Instagram of feeding a captive tiger in a cage, so that’s not great, either, is it? Has he not read the room since this show came out?!

Finally, if you think Shaq is done being boned by associating with the a*holes of Tiger King, you’re wrong, because now PETA is calling attention to his connection to Jeff Lowe, who has his own terrible “zoo” (remember this jag smuggled tigers into suitcases in Vegas in order to get women to party with him. He’s a terrible human being, just like the rest of them.)

See, on his “zoo“‘s Facebook page, Jeff Lowe posted an image of him seemingly FaceTiming with Shaq, and PETA is pissed.

Per TMZ (yes, I know they suck. They’re basically the Joe Exotic of the s*itty gossip world, but it’s the only source I can find on this, and they’re usually accurate, unfortunately)

PETA points out Lowe “has a long history of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act” — and there’s still an active warrant for Lowe in Nevada stemming from Lowe’s failed tiger-petting business (which was also mentioned in the Netflix doc).
“It’s clear that you love tigers, and we hope you will dissociate yourself from people who profit from abusing, breeding, and exploiting them,” PETA said to Shaq in the letter, obtained by TMZ Sports.

Look, I don’t know Shaq, but if I did, I’d be telling him to stop hanging out with a*shole private tiger breeders. You can love the animal, but, uh, maybe you should accept that they don’t belong in America, and that the people who breed them here are not good people. Just watch Tiger King, man—you’ll see what I mean!

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Kate is a staff contributor. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Netflix