After failing to receive a presidential pardon from former President Donald Trump, Joe Exotic is seeking help from his fellow Tiger King star and nemesis Carole Baskin. In March, Baskin's husband Howard told the Mirror that he and his wife "might be willing to go and urge at least a reduction in his sentence" if he were to "come out and say, 'I now know what I did was wrong and I want to help'" and put his support behind the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which prohibits the private ownership of big cat to curb the cub petting industry. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Dec. 3.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight behind the walls of the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is currently serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted on numerous counts, including violating the Endangered Species Act and murder-for-hire, Exotic said he is willing to take the Baskin up on the offer and it is "now time for Carole and Howard to put up or shut the hell up." While Exotic said he will put his support behind the Big Cat Public Safety Act, he said the way the bill written, it "is not gonna help anybody except PETA and Carole Baskin." Still, he promised that he will "testify in front of the Senate, I'll testify in front of the House, they want to end big cats in America and they want to end the exploitation of them, I'm the man to do it." Vowing that they "have my support," Exotic said it is now time "to get an attorney general down here and listen to the evidence that I have to prove I'm innocent and get me the hell out of here." Exotic, however, wants them to take it a step further, requesting not just a reduced sentence, but a pardon.
"It is time to get on the phone to President Biden or whoever they need to that they've got in their little financial pocket and say, 'Hey, Joe is willing to support a big cat bill to help protect cats in America from being exploited. But we need to keep our end of the deal and get Joe a pardon because this wasn't really about murder for hire or shooting five tigers – this was about exploiting Joe to support Carole's agenda,'" he said, later adding, "And they've got my support. Other than that, they need to stay the hell out of the news with all their crap just to get their name in the paper because I just called their bluff."
While further steps have yet to be taken, ET reached out to Baskin, who confirmed the offer is still on the table, though she said she "wouldn't seek a reduced sentence for Joe based upon him just saying he'd help end cub handling," as she believes Exotic would "say anything, but not actually do it." Baskin said to truly get their support for a pardon or reduced sentence, Exotic will have to put in the work and would "have to actually work with authorities to bring all of his buddies to justice and work with legislators to end cub handling. Then, I'd want him to be rewarded for having done the right thing."
Exotic is currently serving 22-years behind bars. He was jailed in 2019 after he was convicted on eight counts of falsifying records after he violated the Lacey Act, nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, and two counts of murder-for-hire for his plot targeting Carole Baskin. His case was brought into the spotlight in March 2020 following the debut of Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, with Exotic in the months that followed calling for Trump to pardon him and even reaching out to Kim Kardashian for help.