OG Tiger King, Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy, has tested positive for COVID-19, reminding us that Joe Exotic isn’t the only blindingly glamorous gay man obsessed with big cats whose career was cut short by tussling with the wrong pussy. According to Deadline, Roy, who in 2003, barely survived being mauled by a white tiger named Montecore during a performance which resulted in grave injuries including “a stroke, severed spine and massive blood loss,” is responding well to treatment. Between the rabid popularity of Tiger King, tigers coming down with coronavirus, and celebrity diagnoses, Roy sure found a way to strike at the heart of the current cultural zeitgeist!
According to Deadline:
In a statement to ABC News, Horn’s publicist said: “We can confirm that Roy Horn has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and is currently responding well to treatment, Most importantly, Siegfried & Roy send positive wishes to everyone impacted by the pandemic. We will have no further comment on Roy’s recovery at this time and ask everyone to respect his right to privacy.”
I hope his recovery isn’t complicated by his injuries. Roy was left pretty fucked up by his tiger attack which has long been shrouded in mystery. The official S&R line is that Roy collapsed from a stroke and Montecore was trying to protect him by grabbing him by the neck and dragging him offstage. However, last year a former trainer who was there at the time says that Montecore missed his mark and attacked Roy when he tried to correct him. Either way, it was a wrap on the Siegfried & Roy show after that. Thankfully, Roy insisted Montecore not be euthanized and he went on to live to the age of 17, and died of natural causes in 2014. Deadline notes that the last time Siegfried and Roy performed together was for a “one-off benefit performance in 2009“. So maybe after Roy has recovered, Siegfried & Roy can take another stab at a comeback with a Zoom charity concert benefiting Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue featuring a stirring German-language cover of Chet Hanks’ new reggae single, Son of Survivors.