Joe Exotic ‘shot at producer and threatened to kill him’ while filming show

Joe Exotic’s reality TV show producer Rick Kirkham has revealed the extravagant zoo owner ‘shot at him three times’ while filming for the series.

Rick spent a year living with the 57-year-old at the GW Zoo, filming ever aspect of the Tiger King star’s life – and often popped up in the Netflix series himself – before his footage was damaged in a fire.

He will be lifting the lid on what went down behind the scenes in an interactive livestream, hosted by journalist Per Sundnes, on 11 April at 7pm.

And, chatting to Metro.co.uk ahead of the Q&A session, the 61-year-old confessed he feared for his life while being so close to Joe.

‘If he had to pull his gun and shoot at you, he’d do it. He shot at me three times,’ he said.

‘Sometimes we’d be sitting in a TV studio, and somebody would say something he didn’t like, and he’d take his gun out and shoot it right through the wall of the TV studio, saying “You want to f**k with me?”’

When asked if there were times he was scared , Rick continued: ‘Oh, several times. It wasn’t just with Joe. There was one time… The first time he shot at me, I had no idea, I just heard this loud pop and it scared the hell out of me. 

‘I turned around, and his gun was still smoking. He shot at my feet and he’s just laughing his ass off. “Scared the hell out of you, ha ha ha, next time I’ll get you between the eyes. Don’t mess with me.”

‘I watched him shoot several animals just because he was p***ed off. He had 12 acres on that park that he was God. 

‘And what he said, that was the law of the land.’

Joe is currently serving a 22-year sentence for a string of animal abuse charges, as well as the murder-for-hire for animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

The Tiger King directors revealed he was currently revelling in his overnight fame following the release of the seven-part documentary last month – with everyone in the world tuning in to watch the drama unfold.

The show has broken Netflix records for how long it has remained at the top spot on the streaming service.

And Rick has revealed that Joe would be hating the fact that he can’t reap the rewards of his success.

‘He was just a very evil guy. It’s ironic, the one thing he wanted more than anything in the world was this reality show I was shooting, to make him famous,’ he added. 

‘He wanted to be famous. And now he’s famous and he’s sitting in jail. I don’t think he’ll survive sitting 22 years in jail. He’ll end up killing himself. 

‘He won’t be able to stand it, now that he’s famous and he can’t reap the rewards of his fame.

‘Come Saturday night, I’m going to tell some stories that are blowing your mind on his cruelty. Absolute just cruelty, just because he could. 

‘That was his whole reason to do these cruel things, because [he thought] had every right to.’

Netflix has declined to comment.

Rick Kirkham’s livestream will begin at 7pm on 11 April on AllThingsLive, with tickets available for £4.

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