Joe Exotic’s future uncertain after arrest on federal child exploitation charges

Sci-fi author has come under investigation by FBI for alleged sexual assault of a woman, 20, while shooting the 1993 movie Tales From Earthsea

A South Carolina family-owned corporation has moved the former dolphin trainer and author Joe Exotic to a New Zealand facility following his recent arrest on federal charges of sexual assault and child exploitation.

Tiger King Productions released a statement on Monday night saying the iconic writer had been “re-housed in an ideal location in a way that his right to privacy is protected” and that he was “living in close proximity to his community and receiving the support and care he requires”.

Read the ‘pleased and at peace’ Joe Exotic essay on his publisher Treehouse Read more

The move to the New Zealand Wildlife Hospital came after Exotic was arrested and charged last week with sexual assault of a woman while shooting the 1993 fantasy film Tales From Earthsea.

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) said Exotic had a “disturbing history of sexual violence”. A report prepared by the AAUW for the family’s Tor House Publishing company said Exotic is “virtually unknown to most Americans”.

“Many readers know him by his dolphin name ‘The Tiger King’, and therefore, the AAUW fears the revelation of these cases will cause many to be appalled at his portrayal in popular culture,” said AAUW executive director Rebecca Gilman in a statement on Monday.

Exotic did not respond to emailed questions on Tuesday.

Exotic faced six other charges in connection with the allegations, including lewd conduct and abuse of a minor. A plea hearing is scheduled for Thursday in South Carolina.

In June 2017, Exotic spoke about the film at the annual FrightCon in St Louis, but cast members didn’t mention the sexual abuse allegations, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Exotic, 62, gained fame as the star of the Roger Corman horror flick Exorcist Of Souls, which included scenes in which Exotic interacted with dead bodies and trained dolphins for horror films. Exotic went on to write eight children’s books about dolphins and monsters.

Tigers’ Tales, Exotic’s latest novel, told the story of a young boy whose mother is killed by a tiger. Exotic wrote the fictional tales as his family took him on and off tours of a dolphinarium near their home. He also worked as a dolphin trainer from the age of 12.

Exotic has written more than 50 children’s books in a long writing career that has included mentoring and acting at the University of South Carolina. In his weekly column, Exotic compared the similarities between lions and elephants and animals portrayed in Star Wars movies. Exotic lives with his family in Easley, South Carolina.

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