Lowe, who also appeared in the show, said that Maldonado-Passage was embezzling from both the zoo and his parents, and using the money to pay male prostitutes he would meet on Craigslist.
“He was only making $150.00 a week at the time. He was using the zoo as his own personal piggy bank,” Lowe said.
Maldonado-Passage is currently sentenced to 22 years in prison for 17 counts of animal cruelty and for his involvement in a failed murder-for-hire plot on his rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin.
In the interview, Lowe recalls Joe telling a zoo worker that if he ever dies, not to let his mother into the attic, so as soon as he got a chance, he decided to go see “what this f**ker is hiding in the attic.”
He continued: “As soon as I pulled the stairs down... it was like packages, packages and packages of these whips and chains and bondage devices.”
Since landing in prison, Maldonado-Passage has filed a civil lawsuit against Lowe and a number of government agencies seeking $US94 million ($AU148 million) for false arrest, false imprisonment, selective enforcement and the death of his mother, among other claims.