Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic said he has “an aggressive cancer” in a note shared on his official Instagram account. The convicted felon posted a handwritten letter informing fans that a prostate biopsy revealed the diagnosis and pleaded that they advocate for his release.
Exotic is serving 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire scheme involving hiring a hitman to kill rival Carole Baskin, and the conviction also included violations of the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act. Netflix’s true-crime documentary Tiger King detailed the years-long feud between Exotic — who owned an Oklahoma big cat zoo with seemingly nefarious practices — and Baskin, who owns Big Cat Rescue in Florida.
“What I need is the world to be my voice to be released,” Exotic wrote in the letter dated Oct. 27, which was posted on Wednesday. “They have the proof I did not do this and there is no reason for the U.S. Attorney to drag this out so I can go home and get treatment on my own or enjoy what life I have left with my loved ones.”
Exotic’s attorney, John Phillips, confirmed his client’s diagnosis. “I can and will publicly confirm Joe’s cancer,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. “He and I spoke Monday with both of us in tears at a point. He needs freedom by so many definitions and we are diligent working towards that.”
The news comes on the heels of Netflix sharing the trailer for the follow-up series featuring many of the original people who appeared in the show about the illicit world of big game ownership. In the wake of Tiger King 2‘s first trailer, Baskin sued Netflix seeking to stop its airing. She claims the follow-up series repurposes her interview material from the original docuseries without proper consent, after she rejected any role in Tiger King 2.