Joe Exotic says the hit Netflix series surrounding his life is the worst thing that's happened to him, because it made the public believe he tried to kill Carole Baskin -- and yet, he's forgiven everyone, including Carole, as he faces the possibility of dying in prison.
We spoke to Joe Friday, he called in from federal prison in Fort Worth, TX ... and said what "Tiger King" became is what ruined his life. He says all the content he filmed was for a separate project -- years before 'TK' -- and after that producers used his interview, and added everyone else in the series to create a fake "conspiracy to kill Carole."
He says it was all done to get TV ratings, and he maintains he's the innocent victim of that production plot.
As we reported, Joe's currently battling cancer that's believed to have spread from his prostate to his bladder ... and as he faces his own mortality -- he recently signed a do-not-resuscitate order -- he says he's found a way to forgive Carole and even Jeff Lowe.
When it comes to Carole, Joe chalks their rivalry up to good business maneuvers -- he says it's common in the animal rescue industry -- and admits both he and CB benefitted from going after each other.
Joe gave us some insight into his day-to-day behind bars -- saying depression is yet another struggle for him. He also says he's shacked up with some interesting characters over the years ... including cartel leaders and Ted Kaczynski, AKA the Unabomber.
As for what's next, he says he's still holding out hope he'll be released from prison, and wants to tie the knot with his fiancé Seth Posey. He also talked about the fact he's officially running for President in 2024 as a Libertarian, and told us why he's the man for the job ... even though he's behind bars.