'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic totes expected a pardon from Trump & even had a limo waiting outside prison

20 January 2021 - 09:06
Joe Exotic is hopeful he will be granted a presidential pardon by outgoing US president Donald Trump.
Joe Exotic is hopeful he will be granted a presidential pardon by outgoing US president Donald Trump.
Image: Netflix

As the final hours of Donald Trump’s presidency drew to a close, Tiger King star Joe Exotic and his legal team were confident he will receive a presidential pardon.

So hopeful they even had a limousine waiting for Exotic outside a Texas prison, with make-up supplies and a mental health doctor, Fox News reported.

Exotic, real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was arrested in January last year and sentenced to 22 years in prison after he was found guilty for his role in a murder-for-hire plot which targeted his rival and zoo owner Carole Baskin.

On Tuesday, Eric Love, one of the legal representatives for Exotic, told Oklahoma News, an affiliate of NBC, they were waiting for Trump’s confirmation of the pardon.

“We are headed to the prison where we will wait for president Trump’s confirmation of the pardon for Exotic. To the fans, thank you so much for the support. God bless. We’ll see you soon,” he said.

CBS DFW reported on Wednesday that Exotic's team were confident the president would act in their favour, a legal representative told the publication: “I know that as soon as Joe gets out, he wants to get his hair done. That’s the number one thing he wants to get done.

“He (Trump) sees that Joe has been targeted. We were able to prove that in the documents we provided to the White House. I think he can identify with Team Tiger and the Tiger King and I think we’re going to get the pardon. I’m 100% sure.”

In one of his desperate attempts to get out of prison, Exotic wrote to law student and reality TV star Kim Kardashian to “ take 10 minutes out of your life and call president Trump to look at my 259-page pardon with all the evidence I’m innocent.”

The letter, published by Insider, is dated November 4 2020. In it, Exotic said: “I have lost 57 years of work, my zoo, my animals, my mother has died, my dad is dying and I have been taken away from my husband who I love dearly.” 

However, Exotic’s application for a pardon was dismissed and his name was not on the final list of 73 individuals who had been pardoned or the 70 who had their sentences commuted.