Country queen Miranda Lambert apparently has a history with the "Tiger King!"
Lambert caused a ruckus online Monday when she tweeted throwback photos of her and Joe Exotic, one of the subjects of Netflix's bizarre true-crime docuseries"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness."
In a trio of photos, the country singer, 36, poses with Exotic, 57, his ex-husband John Finlay, and Kelci "Saff" Saffery, one of the zookeepers at Exotic's private Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in rural Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
The binge-worthy series, which is currently the No. 1 streamed show on Netflix, focuses on the small, interconnected world of big cat conservationists like Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, and collectors like Exotic, whom Baskin accuses of abusing and exploiting wild animals.
Though the series is a hit with viewers — inspiring everything from Joe Exotic costumes to birthday cakes — many have objected to its depictions of animal cruelty. So, perhaps it's no surprise that some of Lambert's fans criticized her for being photographed with its stars. Lambert followed up with a note explaining that she met Exotic in 2017 through her MuttNation Foundation.
“Backstory: During Hurricane Harvey, the MuttNation Team went to Houston to help relocate existing shelter dogs to free up shelter space for animals separated by their owners," she wrote. "MuttNation asked for volunteers who could transport some dogs from Houston to shelters in Oklahoma, where there was more room and they could be treated and adopted. Some guy named Joe volunteered his trailer and stuff.”
The Grammy winner went on to say she had no idea at the time who Exotic was. "I didn’t even know he had tigers,” she wrote. “OBVIOUSLY I’d never condone animals being treated badly.”
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being charged with 17 counts of animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire after allegedly plotting to kill Baskin of Big Cat Rescue.
"Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" is currently streaming on Netflix.