'Tiger King' Star Joe Exotic Believes Trump Will Give Him A Last Minute Pardon

Illustration for article titled 'Tiger King' Star Joe Exotic Believes Trump Will Give Him A Last Minute Pardon
Screenshot: Tiger King | Netflix (Fair Use)

Cast your mind back to the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, back when the CDC was still advising us not to wear masks (???!!!!!!!????!?!!?!?) and we thought the worst of the health crisis could be over within a year (lol). You might vaguely remember that everyone on the internet was obsessed with a wild true crime Netflix docuseries called Tiger King, which detailed the exploits of Joe Exotic, an awful man with a platinum blonde mullet and a passion for big cats and other “exotic” (ha ha) animals.

Outside of his animals, Joe Exotic’s primary obsession was taking down fellow cat rescue center owner Carol Baskin, who he insists was responsible for the death of her late husband. In fact, the reason Exotic is currently serving a 22 year sentence in prison is for allegedly trying to have Baskin killed.

The legal team of Joe Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage) said on Tuesday that they believe their client will receive a pardon from President Trump before President-elect Biden is sworn into office on Wednesday. In fact, they’re SO confident that Maldonado-Passage going to be pardoned that they have an actual limousine standing by to pick him up from federal prison.


Similar to most other parts of Joe Exotic’s life story, I could not make this shit up if I tried!!

Maldonado-Passage’s attorneys filed his 257-page application with the Department of Justice on September 8th, which claims their client was “railroaded and betrayed” by others, and includes character affidavits, letters of support, and other trial documents. One of Maldonado-Passage’s lawyers told KOCO News that if he was pardoned, their team’s first priority would be getting their client camera ready.

“Joe’s biggest thing is he can’t wait to get out, as you can imagine, and he doesn’t want anyone to see him until his hair is done,” Love said. “So, the most important person tomorrow is the hair and makeup and wardrobe.”


We have yet to learn whether Trump actually does plan to pardon Joe Exotic. Although that would be an unspeakably strange use of a last-minute pardon, I certainly wouldn’t put it past him.

Freelance writer & night blogger at Jezebel. Lover of television, astrology, and sandwiches.

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Trump just left Joint Base Andrews, so unless he’s planning on a really last minute pardon, like, you know, continuing to work, I think this guy is shit out of luck.