Miranda Lambert Explains Her Throwback Photo With Joe Exotic After Fan Backlash
Earlier this week, country music superstar Miranda Lambert posted a throwback pic with Joe Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic), his ex-husband John Finlay, and GW Zoo staffer Kelci “Saff” Saffery after millions saw the trio in the Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness . However, Lambert’s fans weren’t exactly thrilled that she had a connection to a convicted animal abuser.
In her post, Lambert shared three photos that featured her with Joe Exotic near some cages and a mobile Humane Society of Tulsa facility. In the caption the Tin Man singer wrote, “Here’s a little Monday memory for y’all,” along with the hashtags #TigerKing and #WayTooPrettyForPrison.
Many fans liked the pics, and wrote in the comments that they were surprised Lambert had any kind of connection with Joe Exotic. But, some of Lambert’s nearly 4 million followers slammed her for being in photos with a man who is now in prison for animal abuse - not to mention his alleged involvement in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.
"Did you know how badly those animals were being treated? I've been a fan of yours for 10+ years, but he killed innocent and healthy tigers," wrote one disappointed fan, while another added, "Surprised that you would post this considering your love of animals???? Odd!"
A third fan noted: “I wouldn't be bragging about Tiger King . Have you seen hidden videos of him punching tigers in the face? Shame on anyone who is in his corner."
After seeing the negative response, Lambert attempted to clear things up. She followed up with some “backstory” for the pics and explained that they were taken during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Lambert said that during that natural disaster, her and her team from the MuttNation Foundation (which she founded in 2009 to rescue animals and help animal shelters) went to Houston to help relocate existing shelter dogs to free up shelter space for animals that were separated from their owners.
"MuttNation asked for volunteers who could transport some dogs from Houston to shelters in Oklahoma, where there was more room and they could be treated and adopted," explained Lambert. "Some guy named Joe volunteered his trailer and staff. Now I know it's 'Joe Exotic.'"
Miranda Lambert made it clear that she has never visited Joe Exotic’s zoo and she had no idea he owned tigers. Lambert said that she would “obviously” never condone bad treatment of animals.