Emotional plea

'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic claims 'I'll be dead in 2-3 months' in new prison letter

Less than five months into a 22-year federal prison sentence, "Tiger King" star Joe Exotic is struggling to cope behind bars.

Courtesy of Netflix

TMZ obtained an emotional letter the former big cat zoo owner, who was made famous by the 2020 Netflix documentary "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage), addressed to his "Supporters, Fans, loved ones" on June 1. It's believed he wrote it from his cell in Federal Medical Center Fort Worth, a Texas prison for male inmates with special medical and mental health needs.

Joe — who in 2019 was convicted on two counts of murder for hire in a plot to kill his nemesis, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin, plus 17 federal charges of animal abuse — begins his three-page handwritten letter by declaring that "The pandemic is over" and asking "President Trump to keep his word and look into making this wrong a right and grant me a miracle." (Joe's supporters have been lobbying the POTUS for a pardon; in April, Donald Trump, who hadn't seen "Tiger King" at the time, dismissed a reporter's question about it during a press briefing, saying, "I'll take a look.")

Joe also asks prison reform advocates Kim Kardashian West and Cardi B for their help, writing, "Please ladies I've done nothing wrong but act a fool to protect my zoo from arson and people hurting my animals. Hear my scream for help."

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He also writes about his physical and mental health, treatment in prison and heartbreak at not hearing from husband Dillon Passage. In addition, Joe chastises people in his orbit who are seeking fame and even compares himself to George Floyd, the black man killed by white Minneapolis police officers on May 25.

He makes it clear in his letter that he's having a very hard time. "My soul is dead, I struggle everyday to hold on to what little hope I can find," he explains before claiming that guards keep him "locked down 24/7 with no phone, email or commissary." Adds Joe, "You will never understand the mental abuse this does to a person."

He further says his health outlook is beyond bleak. Joe — who was born with the antibody deficiency CVID and "hemogamagloblin anemia," he writes, which requires "blood infusions every 4 weeks" — alleges he hasn't had one since January, which has resulted in weight loss and sores that won't heal. "I'll be dead in 2-3 months," he writes. "It's like I have been send to Death Row. They stopped all of my medication except one. This place is hell on earth and the mental torture of being locked in this room alone and not even hearing Dillons' voice or a letter…"

According to Joe, his husband has abandoned him behind bars and he's tortured by the images and stories fans are sending him showing Dillon out partying, sightseeing in Hollywood and making headlines for hanging out with reality TV stars. "All those who send screen shots of him with his buds, it's not cool, not funny and is not healthy for me. If he has moved on he should tell me. If he hasn't am begging [him] to support me, sad to be dumped like a dog in a shelter but that's how it feels," Joe writes, later urging fans to play Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" song to Dillon "and ask him, 'Will he?' Or not? My heart must know!"

Joe also criticizes those around him who've sought attention on the heels of the success of "Tiger King," writing that they are all "riding the white horse of fame at my expense" and claiming that anyone doing films and signing contracts for related projects "should be ashamed of yourselves" because "this was my life … and I'm not even dead yet."

It is, Joe dares to claim, "like George Floyd. His message got lost on the riots, my message got abandon[ed] for money and fame. Shame on everyone making a buck." According to Joe, "Remember how that knife went in my back, it will go in yours also."

Homeowner

Viola Davis buys childhood home, plantation site on 55th birthday

Viola Davis feels like a kid again.

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In celebrating her 55th birthday on Aug. 11, the Oscar-winning actress revealed on Twitter that she has purchased her childhood home, which was the site of a plantation in South Carolina. 

"The above is the house where I was born August 11, 1965. It is the birthplace of my story. Today on my 55th year of life….I own it….all of it," she wrote on Twitter alongside a picture of the rundown house. 

She then added a Cherokee birth blessing, reading, "May you live long enough to know why you were born."

Viola lived in the home with her grandma as a very young child. 

Back in 2016, Viola spoke about the home and the slave-linked land in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. 

"For me, I wasn't on [the land] long," she said. "I was the fifth child and we moved soon after I was born."

Viola wasn't aware of the history of the land when she was young, but she went back several times to visit her grandmother.

"I think I read one slave narrative of someone who was on that plantation, which was horrific," she said. 

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The home, Viola said, was more of a "one room shack" that had no running water and no indoor bathroom. 

"My mom says that the day I was born all of my aunts and uncles were in the house," she said. "Everyone was drinking and laughing and having fun."

Although the environment was "decimated," Viola smiled at the "joy and the life that can come out of that, because it's not always about things."

Female praise

Ryan Seacrest's female co-hosts give him relationship 'fulfillment'

Ryan Seacrest may have recently split from his long-term girlfriend, but he gets his relationship fix every day from two different women… both of whom are married.

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On Aug. 11, the do-it-all media man was joined by his radio co-host Sisanie Villaclara on "Live With Kelly and Ryan." (She subbed in for the vacationing Kelly Ripa.)

"We spend five hours a day on the radio," Ryan explained while introducing Sisanie. "Another thing that Sisanie and I talk about often is the fact that spending an hour a day with Kelly and spending many hours with you, it's like I have this fulfillment in the relationship category."

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Like most people in romantic relationships, Ryan spends "so much time listening and learning and wondering and being curious and being enlightened" by Sisanie and Kelly.

In late June, Ryan's rep announced that the "American Idol" host and Shayna Taylor had split for a third time.

"Ryan and Shayna decided to end their romantic relationship amicably some time ago," a statement said. "They remain good friends, each other's biggest supporters and will always cherish their time together as a couple."

At the time, People magazine reported Ryan was already dating someone new. 

Twitter break

Robin Williams' daughter goes silent on Twitter on anniversary of his death

Zelda Williams is taking her annual one-day break from Twitter to commemorate her father's death.

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"As always, I will not be here," Zelda wrote on Aug. 10, one day before the sixth anniversary of Robin Williams' passing. "It's hard for me on regular, good days to remain the person expected to graciously accept the world's need to share their memories of him and express their condolences for his loss."

The 31-year-old actress said fans of her legendary father can unintentionally make her feel like "a roadside memorial" — especially every Aug. 11. 

"As I've said in the past, while I am constantly touched by all of your boundless continued love for him, some days it can feel a bit like being seen as a roadside memorial—a place, not a person—where people drive past and leave their sentiments to then go about their days comforted their love for him was witnessed," she continued.

The support, she said, can leave her "emotionally buried under a pile of other's memories instead of my own."

"After all, even roses by the truckload weigh a ton," she added.

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The anniversary of Robin's death is "simply too much," she wrote.

Zelda encouraged those struggling with mental health to reach out to professional resources. 

Robin died in 2014 at the age of 63. 

Coincidentally, one of Robin's old comedy bits has been making the rounds over the past week, particularly after it was shared by Donald Trump's son Eric Trump.

In the video, Robin calls the presumptive Democratic nominee "Rambling Joe Biden." Eric tweeted out the video along with a text overlay that said, "Robin Williams Just Savages Joe Biden."

After seeing this, Zelda jumped in and reamed Eric.

"While we're 'reminiscing' (to further your political agenda), you should look up what he said about your Dad. I did," Zelda replied to Eric's post. "Promise you, it's much more 'savage.'"

In a parting shot, she wrote, "Gentle reminder that the dead can't vote, but the living can."

Fire fallout

Rachael Ray's kitchen spared in raging house fire

The state-of-the-art kitchen inside Rachael Ray's New York mansion was spared during a raging inferno this week, fire officials confirmed.

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On Aug. 9, a blaze broke out at the famous chef's upstate New York home, causing extensive damage to the second floor and roof. The first floor — where the kitchen is located — mainly suffered water damage but largely stayed clear of the flames. 

"The kitchen wasn't touched at all, so pretty much the whole first floor is in good shape," Warren County Coordinator Brian LaFlure told WNYT 13.

The home is located in a fairly remote area, so there are no nearby fire hydrants. Firefighters had to use pond water to douse the blaze.

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Rachael and her husband, John Cusimano, were unharmed in the fire, having escaped the structure with her mother and their dog.

"We're all okay," she said in a statement. "These are the days we all have to be grateful for what we have, not what we've lost."

Rachael had been filming her eponymous talk show and cooking segments at the home amid the coronavirus pandemic

In April, Rachael gushed about her kitchen, noting that she drew the entire home on a piece of paper.

"I worked 35 years to have a gas stove and to put that pizza oven in behind it," she said. "Those are my treasures. John got a music studio. I got a stove and a pizza oven."

A new delay

Angelina Jolie's new move in 4-year Brad Pitt divorce case is stall tactic: Report

Is Angelina Jolie trying to hold up her ongoing divorce case with Brad Pitt — which has already dragged on for almost four years — because things aren't going her way?

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That's what a source close to the legal proceedings is claiming in light of the news that the actress-humanitarian has requested to disqualify the private judge handling their divorce case.

On Aug. 10, Angelina filed to get Judge John W. Ouderkirk — the private judge she and Brad hired to oversee their legal split as well as child custody and money issues, in order to maintain more privacy regarding personal and financial information — taken off their case. She alleges he's not been "forthcoming enough" about other cases he's been hired to work on that have ties to one of Brad's lawyers, Anne C. Kiley.

RELATED: Brad and Angelina's romance in photos

The filing complains that the judge "failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent's counsel," Page Six reported, and that Brad's team wants the judge to remain.

A source close to the case characterizes Angelina's move as "a delay tactic," Page Six writes in a new report, "because she believed things weren't going in her favor."

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Brad and Angelina were granted a bifurcated judgment in 2019, which means they're legally single and able to remarry should they desire, but custody and financial issues remain. The source told Page Six that it's these issues – a permanent custody agreement concerning their five children under 18 (eldest son Maddox is now an adult) and Angelina's request for more child support from Brad — that are at issue.

"This is about how much time Brad gets with the kids, how does sharing time with the kids work…" the source told Page Six.

RELATED: See the best photos of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to mark what would have been their 20th wedding anniversary

"Jolie is basically trying to fire the private judge overseeing their divorce case. She has every right to do this, but if she thought she was in a good place in this legal proceeding, she wouldn't need to do it," the source explained to Page Six. "This is a classic case of someone expecting a bad decision trying to delay the process by asking for a new referee."

According to the source, her move is an "unusual" one because Angelina is now involving a public court in what they'd long sought to keep private, and it also serves to delay anything moving forward. "This divorce has been going on for four years, for goodness' sake," the source added.

Beach body

Christie Brinkley, 66, stuns in black swimsuit at the beach: Photos

Christie Brinkley might be 66, but she's still a supermodel.

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On Aug. 9, she took to Instagram to post a photo slideshow of herself striking various poses while wearing a strapless black swimsuit and leaning up against a Jeep on the beach, captioning it "Sunday Sunset Swim 🌊" and tagging her favorite workout equipment company, Total Gym Direct.

She also shared a positive message  in the comments, writing, "👍🏼 My mom always said 'live each day as tho its your last' and nowadays that's has a whole new doing to it! Grateful for everyday!" Christie told followers.

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She also shared a slideshow of photos of herself enjoying an outdoor movie night at designer Donna Karan's house where they watched the new biopic "Tesla" with pals including journalist Katie Couric and Katie's husband, John Molner.

Katie joked to Christie in the comments of the photo post, "I'm a brave woman to be photographed next to you! 😘."

Uncle Bob

Robert Irwin reacts to sister Bindi's news he's to be an uncle

On Aug. 11, conservationist and TV star Bindi Irwin, 22, revealed that she and her husband of four and a half months, Chandler Powell, 23, are expecting their first baby. "Baby Wildlife Warrior due 2021," she captioned a photo on Instagram.

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An hour later, brother Robert Irwin took to social media to share his joy upon learning he's to be an uncle. "The most exciting news ever! I am so happy for Bindi and Chandler to be welcoming a new member of the family. I can't believe I'm going to be an uncle!!!" Robert, 16, captioned an Instagram photo of his family showing Bindi holding up a mini Australia Zoo uniform.

"It's such a happy time for our family – I look forward to this brilliant new chapter and all the fun adventures ahead with a new little Wildlife Warrior!" added Robert, a talented photographer who, like Bindi, Chandler and their mom, Terri Irwin, works at the zoo that came to fame under the direction of their late father, "Crocodile Hunter" star Steve Irwin.

Bindi took to the comments to praise her baby brother. "You're going to be the best uncle!! Baby and I love you! ☺️," Bindi wrote.

Mom Terri took to Twitter to share her elation too, calling it "the best day ever!" Terri gushed that the news that she's to be a grandmother has left her "over the moon."

"Words cannot express the love that is filling my heart. While I wish that Steve was here to share this beautiful moment, I know that he would be so proud," she added.

Bindi and Chandler, who married in March 2020 at the zoo in a scaled-back wedding due to the coronavirus pandemic, earlier explained that though Bindi is "still in my first trimester," they wanted to share their happy news now because "we really want you to be part of our journey from the beginning of this new life chapter," they wrote on Instagram.

They added, "We couldn't wait to share the news as this beautiful little being has become the most important part of our lives. Your support means the world to us. Please let me know your best advice and send good vibes & prayers to our little sweetheart. Love & light."

Wife update

Portia de Rossi says embattled Ellen DeGeneres is 'doing great'

Amid the allegations of bad behavior and ongoing drama surrounding her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres is "doing great," her wife says.

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On Monday, Page Six published a video in which Portia de Rossi gaves a quick update on her embattled wife while out and about in Santa Barbara, California. The video was reportedly filmed the previous day.

Portia, ever the supportive wife, remained low-key in a scarf and hat while a paparazzo asked her about Ellen's state of mind. 

"Doing great," Portia said. 

The videographer then pressed Portia on the future of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." When directly asked whether Ellen is continuing on with the eponymous daytime talk show, Portia said, "Yes, she is."

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This is all fairly new ground for Ellen, who appears to be the embodiment of positivity and kindness on her show. However, for months she's been hit with allegations that she's demeaning toward staff and has created a toxic work environment

There have also been reports that her show was on verge on being canceled as it grappled with low ratings — its lowest ratings ever, actually.

As allegations of less-than-flattering behavior poured in, WarnerMedia launched an internal investigation into conditions at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." WarnerMedia, which owns Warner Bros. Television, the distributor of Ellen's show, sent a memo to staffers indicating that current and former employees would be asked about their experiences on set. The interviews will be conducted by WarnerMedia's employee relations group and a third party firm. 

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On July 30, Ellen broke her silence to her staff, apologizing for unspecified transgressions and promising to "correct the issues."

In Ellen's letter, she explained that she's now realized the show hadn't been "a place of happiness" for some staffers. 

"As we've grown exponentially, I've not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I'd want them done. Clearly some didn't. That will now change and I'm committed to ensuring this does not happen again," she wrote. 

After referencing the struggles she faced after coming out as a gay woman in the '90s, she said, "It's been way too long, but we're finally having conversations about fairness and justice. We all have to be more mindful about the way our words and actions affect others, and I'm glad the issues at our show were brought to my attention. I promise to do my part in continuing to push myself and everyone around me to learn and grow. It's important to me and to Warner Bros. that everyone who has something to say can speak up and feels safe doing so."

Rough ride

Simon Cowell's e-bike was banned on U.K. open roads

The electric bike that Simon Cowell crashed over the weekend, which resulted in him breaking his back, was outlawed on the open road in the United Kingdom because of its capability to reach high speeds.

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The bike, a Swind EB-01, is advertised as "the world's most powerful and most advanced electric bicycle in the market." Page Six notes that that particular e-bike exceeds the legal speed limit in the U.K. and has more than 250 watts of power. It is only legal to be used in private, closed areas, for sporting activities and on designated routes.

The "America's Got Talent" judge was at his home in California at the time of the accident.

Due to its potential to reach high speeds, riders are urged to take precautions and wear protective clothing when riding the $20,000 bike.

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According to witnesses of Simon's accident, speed was a factor, as he was allegedly thrown in the air after the bike did a "giant wheelie."

"He did a turn in his courtyard, changed gear, and then the bike went into a wheelie and threw him off the back," a source told Page Six. "Simon was in complete agony and was stretchered out of his home and taken in an ambulance to hospital."

"Friends at the scene quickly checked that he could move fingers and toes… When he fell off the bike, he landed right on his back, which broke in a number of places," the source continued. "He had to have a metal rod inserted into his back."

Doctors said he narrowly missed severing his spinal cord, Page Six reported.

On Sunday, Simon addressed the crash on Twitter. 

"Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time," he wrote. "I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages."

In a follow-up message, he wrote, "And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. Stay safe everyone. Simon."