When Netflix released Tiger King back in 2020, viewers were instantly hooked by the jaw-dropping storylines that included missing persons, murder, suicide and exotic animal business feuds. Joe Exotic, the main subject of the docuseries, rose to celebrity-status as a result of his wild on-screen persona. However, his notoriety quickly turned to scandal after he was arrested and later sentenced to 22 years in prison for a murder-for-hire job and other charges. And, as if the story couldn’t get any wilder, now another star of the show has been arrested by the FBI.
People reports that none other than Bhagavan “Doc” Antle was arrested Friday afternoon by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He’s the owner of the Myrtle Beach Safari but became famous in his own right after appearing as a controversial talking head on Tiger King. (He later slammed the edit of him on the show as being “salacious.”) As of this writing, Antle’s charges haven’t officially been made public knowledge, and he remains in a Horry County jail facility in South Carolina.
According to the Post and Courier of Myrtle Beach, though, their reporters have received a tip about the circumstances surrounding the arrest. A source close to the FBI’s investigation told the outlet that Doc Antle is facing allegations related to money laundering. A hearing on the matter is supposedly set for Monday, June 6.
This isn’t the Tiger King star’s only troubles, either. In October of 2020, he was indicted in Virginia on felony counts of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to wildlife traffic, along with 13 other misdemeanor counts pertaining to animal cruelty and conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act. His two daughters were charged with two of those misdemeanor counts as well at the time. Per the Post and Courier, the trial for the Virginia charges is slated for July. Debbie Metzler, the associate director of PETA’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said in a statement regarding the latest developments:
Legal drama has persisted elsewhere in the Tiger King universe beyond Doc Antle’s latest issues, too. Jeff Lowe’s touted “hot nanny” from the documentary, Masha Diduk, was arrested in January for allegedly stealing a very pricy candelabra. (But she’s seems to have weathered that storm if her Instagram is any indication.) Meanwhile, Joe Exotic himself was last heard to be so desperate to get out of prison that he agreed to work with his former nemesis, Carole Baskin, to do it. It must not have panned out like he hoped (a pardon or parole offer in exchange for backing certain legislation efforts) because the TV personality remains in prison in North Carolina.
Keep an eye out for updates on the legal troubles of Doc Antle, Joe Exotic and any of the series' other cast members. Both Tiger King and its Doc Antle Story spinoff are still available for streaming for those with a Netflix subscription.
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