- The gay zookeeper is currently serving 22 years in prison over his plot to kill his arch enemy, Carol Baskin.
Joe Exotic still believes President Donald Trump will pardon him as one of his last acts in office.
Eric Love, representing the Tiger King star, said Exotic’s lawyers have contacted officials in Washington DC, asking for a presidential pardon.
And Love is so confident that he has even reserved a Dodge Ram limo for Exotic to ride home from prison.
The reality TV star, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, came to fame in the hit Netflix series Tiger King this year. But in January a court sentenced him to 22 years in prison over his plot to kill his rival Carol Baskin and for killing five tigers in his zoo.
Earlier this year he sent a handwritten letter to Trump appealing for clemency. In it, he tells the president he wants to go home to his husband and ‘return to helping sick children and the homeless’.
Moreover he added: ‘If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you.
‘Not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what YOU believe no matter what anyone thinks.’
After begging for a pardon, he concluded the letter:
‘Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please.’
In September, he also submitted a 257 page report to the US Department of Justice asking Trump for a pardon.
It explained he wouldn’t leave prison until 2037. But it added that his poor health means he will more likely die in prison. And it concluded:
‘He humbly requests a pardon to correct the injustices he has experienced and to have the opportunity to return to provide meaningful contributions to his community.’
How Exotic’s story ended in the murder plot
Exotic, aged 57, became a household name when Tiger King dropped on Netflix just as many countries started coronavirus lockdowns.
The series follows ‘redneck homosexual’ Exotic and the fate of the roadside zoo he created.
However it’s not just the animals who add the drama. Joe has two husbands, and a vast range of queer, colorful, crazy and criminal friends and foes. To that mix you can add meth, guns and genital piercings.
But as GSN reported in 2018, Joe Exotic’s legal troubles date back long before he found fame.
Likewise, the Tiger King series also tracked the conflict between Exotic and Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue. She accuses him of animal abuse. In particular he says his breeding programs, conditions and allowing visitors to pet lion and tiger cubs are cruel.
In return, he accuses her of hypocrisy, undermining his income and of harassing him.
After a series of twists, it culminates with an attempted murder which has now landed Exotic with 22 years in jail.
But in his letter to Trump he said the threats he made against Baskin were merely jokes. Moreover, he admits killing the tigers but says they needed euthanasia.
Trump Jr becomes an ally
Meanwhile, he is also putting his faith in Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr. Back in April, Trump Jr said he felt Exotic’s prison term was ‘aggressive’. However his assessment appears to be based on a cursory perusing of the show rather than a careful weighing of legal evidence.
At the time he commented: ‘I watched the show but I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t. It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, “We’re putting this guy away for 30 years.” I’m saying, “That seems … sort of aggressive.”’
In a letter to Trump Jr on Facebook in June, Exotic tells the president’s son ‘I truly have faith in you’.
Exotic then goes on to claim he’s the victim of ‘fake news’ as well as ‘bad agents, bad cops and bad prosecutors’.