Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as Joe Exotica, infamous around the world for his Netflix documentary series “Tiger King” lashed out at former US president Donald Trump after not receiving a highly anticipated pardon. At the end of his term, Trump granted pardons to 73 individuals and commuted the sentences of an additional 70 others, however the controversial personality did not make the cut.
So confident were the former reality TV star and his lawyers known as “Team Tiger” that Trump would grant leniency that a super-stretch Limousine had been organized to carry Joe triumphantly from the shackles of prison to the world of freedom.
This stretch limo just arrived at the Fort Worth prison where “Tiger King” Joe Exotic is expected to be released if he receives a presidential pardon. pic.twitter.com/jpeAF4Nlg6— Annie Vogeler (@AnnieVogeler_TV) January 19, 2021
As this joyous day was of course to be filmed a hairdresser and makeup artist were also on stand by to have Joe looking his best as he fielded questions and quite possibly negotiated offers on a second Netflix blockbuster.
Eric Love who has led Joe’s campaign had stated before their hopes were dashed that.; This time tomorrow, we’re going to be celebrating. We have good reason to believe it will come through….’We’re confident enough we already have a limousine parked about a mile from the prison. We are really in action mode right now,……I’ve got make-up, wardrobe, the whole unit that will come up. The first thing Joe wants to do, he wants his hair done. He hasn’t had his hair done in two-and-a-half-years. That’s the first order of business. Then we’ll probably go and get some pizzas, steak, maybe a McRib.’
Joe was convicted in April 2019 on federal charges of animal cruelty and attempting to hire a hitman to kill rival Carole Baskin. He was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in prison.
He has always claimed he was innocent.
Trump’s pardon omission was a huge blow to Joe who reacted with a bitter tweet on being omitted from Trump’s list of pardons.
“I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump” he stated. “I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post. Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends come first.”
I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump. I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post. Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first. pic.twitter.com/ysGfwnqlHi— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) January 20, 2021
Joes team are also “disappointed” by the highly anticipated pardon that didn’t eventuate.
‘140 million of Joe Exotic fans had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. We are disappointed that the President did not sign Joe’s pardon, as we were confident he would.’
It is obvious that Joe’s tweet would have been more favorable if the anticipated pardon had been granted.
“If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you” Joe wrote to Trump last September. ” Not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what you beleive (sic) no matter what anyone thinks.”
The person who seems the most relieved that Trump did not pardon Joe is Carol Baskin, who claims she is still scared of him.
Speaking to TMZ she said; ‘If I understand the notice I got from the prison system, he’s already gotten another month added to his sentence by not obeying prison rules. If Joe really had a change of heart, he could do what Mario Tabraue did to lessen his 100 year drug trafficking conviction to 12 years by turning state’s evidence against the other animal exploiters.’
Tiger Team has stated that they will keep working to free the man they believe in. Love has said that they ‘will never leave Joe’s side and will continue to work until his freedom is gained.’