If you’re anything like the rest of us, you spent March of last year hunkering down at home, hoarding toilet paper, and watching the “Tiger King.” For those of you that are not like us, and instead spent your quarantine getting in shape and learning a new skill, allow us to fill you in. “Tiger King” is a true-crime documentary series that follows the almost unbelievable story of big cat lovers and private zoo owners in the United States. The main focus of the series is a man named Joe Exotic, who can only be the brainchild of the most successful, conniving reality TV producers ever.
Exotic landed a 22-year federal prison sentence for his involvement in hiring a hitman to drive across the country to kill his rival, Carol Baskin, per the Daily Beast. Like we said, it’s a wild ride. One of the most fascinating things about the show though, wasn’t the murder for hire subplot, but the bizarre social lives of the characters.
Exotic, who is openly gay, was simultaneously married to two men at one point, both of whom were significantly younger than him. His first husband, John Finlay, became a fan-favorite for his gentle demeanor and all-around calm vibes when surrounded by larger-than-life personalities. His most definitely characteristic, though, was his missing teeth.
What’s the deal, and what happened to his teeth? We’ve got all the answers below.
John Finlay didn't lose his teeth for the reason you think
When he first appeared on the “Tiger King,” John Finlay seemed to be missing most of his teeth, which definitely gave him a distinctive look … that, and the fact that he did his interviews shirtless. Fans were definitely curious about the reason for the unique smile.
In the series, Finlay talks candidly about drug use in the big cat community, implying that his ex husband Joe Exotic used various types of drugs to keep his love interests around. Finlay’s drug of choice was methamphetamine, and thus most viewers assumed that’s why his teeth fell out. However, that’s not the case.
According to Finlay, who spoke to TMZ about the issue in March 2020, his teeth did not fall out because of his methamphetamine usage, rather it was a result of a genetic condition. Finlay further added that he hasn’t used the drug in over six years.
In addition to a new, clean, lifestyle Finlay replaced his damaged and missing teeth with a full set of dentures in 2019 — a storyline producers decided not to include in the series.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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