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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


‘Surviving Joe Exotic’ documentary reveals truth behind ‘Tiger King’ star

This is the producer's last interview about what really happened during the nightmare he and others endured at the GW Zoo.


In his self-proclaimed final interview regarding Tiger King, TV producer Rick Kirkham reveals the truth behind his time with the eccentric phenomenon – Joe Exotic.

In the Dplay documentary Surviving Joe Exotic, Kirkham shares his nightmare and the obscene events at the GW Zoo. The documentary will be shown on DStv channel 171 on 11 June.

‘‘I knew right then and there that he was not a good person,” said Kirkham.

Tiger King has taken the world by storm and no one has been able to avoid the renowned king of tigers – Joe Exotic and his escapades.

Joe Exotic in ‘ Tiger King’. Picture: Netflix

“At first I really liked him. He was such a personality and he was so much fun to be around. But that changed after a few months with him and I started seeing the real Joe Exotic,” said Kirkham.

Just months after Kirkham was hired by Exotic to produce his internet show, he realised there was no turning back from the nightmare that was the GW Zoo.

He stayed close to a year recording and documenting the fellowship between all the misfits and their caring for the animals. The material he collected while being at the Zoo was unique and he knew it would be invaluable for his own reality show.

After a quarrel with Exotic, all of this material was lost in a suspected arson, and after another fire in his new home, Kirkham chose to flee far from Exotic and leave the United States.

Rick Kirkham with Joe Exotic. Picture: Netflix

He sought protection in Bodø in northern Norway, where he now lives together with his Norwegian wife.

This is his last interview about what really happened during the nightmare he and others endured at the GW Zoo.

The Tiger King documentary has become a worldwide phenomenon and Discovery has managed to gain unique access to Kirkham, where he tells his incredible and uncensored story one last time.

“It’s a moving and unbelievable story,” said Ulrika Bokstad, executive producer at Discovery Networks Sweden.

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