Michael Jackson once owned alligators that died in a fire Joe Exotic’s zoo, it has been reported.
Exotic is the subject of a new Netflix documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, which charts how the big cat owner was arrested over a murder-for-hire plot.
According to a 2015 article published in the Los Angeles Times, Jackson was the former owner of seven alligators and one crocodile who perished in the fire at the zoo. Now, Exotic’s former partner John Finlay has confirmed the animals did once belong to the pop star.
“One of the previous managers had gotten us Michael Jackson’s alligators from Neverland Ranch,” Finlay said on Lights Out With David Spade. This fact was not mentioned in the Netflix show.
The 2015 fire burned down the crocodile enclosure and Exotic’s film and TV studio, where he filmed his own show, Joe Exotic TV. He accused rival Carole Baskin of paying his producer $20,000 (£16,000) to start the fire, while others claimed Exotic started it himself.
At the time of the fire, Exotic was quoted by KXII as saying: “The building can be replaced, the equipment can be replaced, but Michael Jackson’s alligators cannot be replaced.”
Meanwhile, the true-crime series also has links to Britney Spears. Since the documentary’s release earlier this month, eagle-eyed fans have noticed one of its major interviewees Doc Antle featured in the pop star’s performance of ‘Slave 4 U’ at the 2001 VMAs.
During the performance, Spears walked out from a cage that held both a tiger and its trainer, Antle.
In other Tiger King news, Cardi B recently called for the release of Joe Exotic from prison.