“Tiger King” star Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, was not among those to receive a pardon from the immediate former United States President Donald Trump after submitting an application with the U.S. Department of Justice in September.
Trump pardoned rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black among other members of the entertainment industry hours before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 but not Joe Exotic, the zookeeper-turned-“Tiger King” star who had been lobbying the president for months to pardon his sentence.
His legal team, led by wealthy philanthropist and private investigator Eric Love, had a limousine ready to go and hyped up the possibility of his release so much in the media that it became a trending topic on Twitter.
In social media postings Tuesday, Joe Exotic said he was praying he was on the list.
“I ask my group of Angels to please help God guide this to happen,” he said. “I am going to help so many children fix their faces and stand up for those with no voice.”
His application included a handwritten letter from Maldonado-Passage to President Trump, according to CBS News.
In the letter, Maldonado-Passage says that he voted for Trump in 2016 and asks the president to “grant me a miracle” in the form of a pardon.
“If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you,” Maldonado-Passage writes. “Not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what you believe no matter what anyone thinks.”
The former Oklahoma zookeeper, who rose to fame as the subject of the hit Netflix docu-series, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against his longtime rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin, as well as for violating federal wildlife laws.