Joe Exotic claims he was ‘too gay’ to receive a pardon from Donald Trump

Tiger King: Donald Trump Jr compared his dad to gay criminal Joe Exotic

Tiger King star Joe Exotic has claimed he was “too gay” and “too innocent” to get a presidential pardon from Donald Trump.

Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – was confident that he would be given a presidential pardon by Trump in the final hours of his presidency.

He was so confident that he and his legal team, aptly called Team Tiger, even had a limo standing by for when the announcement came so they could pick Exotic up from his Fort Worth, Texas, prison in style.

But when Trump finally announced his list of 70 pardons and 70 commutations, Exotic’s name was nowhere to be seen.

Joe Exotic spoke out against Trump on Twitter following the announcement, writing: “I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a pardon from Trump.”

He continued: “I only mattered to Don Jr when he needed to make 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.”

The former zoo-owner is currently serving 22-years in federal prison for his attempts to have rival Carole Baskin killed in a murder-for-hire plot. He was also convicted on eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act.

Carole Baskin is relieved Donald Trump didn’t pardon Joe Exotic

Fans first began to question whether Exotic could end up being pardoned by Trump after the outgoing president said he would would “look into” his case during a press conference in April 2020.

Since then, Exotic’s legal team have tried every trick in the book to have the disgraced zookeeper freed from prison.

They even filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice for rejecting his pardon, claiming that the appeal had never landed on Trump’s desk – but they later retracted their complaint in December 2020 after learning that the appeal had indeed been forwarded to Trump.

While Joe Exotic and his legal team are disappointed, Carole Baskin has said she is relieved Trump chose not to pardon the disgraced zookeeper in the final hours of his presidency.

She told Fox News: “I’m taking a deep breath because I feel such a sense of relief. From the very time that he was sentenced I have worried about there being a presidential pardon that could undo all the hard work that went into bringing this person to justice.

“When today at noon a new president was sworn in, I felt like I was finally safe from that threat.”