Joe Exotic's 'Tiger King' Team Convinced Donald Trump Will Pardon Him in Lame Duck

Joe Exotic is hopeful that his 22-year prison sentence will soon be coming to an end. After issuing multiple pleas for an early release, the team behind the mega-popular Netflix docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness say they are convinced President Donald Trump will pardon Exotic (real name Joseph Maldano-Passage) before he leaves the White House in January.

Providing a "quick update" to TMZ, Eric Love, the Tiger King team leader, excitedly declared, "the pardon's gonna happen." According to Love, Exotic's legal team has received "information and multiple phone calls" from Washington, D.C. in recent days regarding "the pardon" of the Tiger King star. This has led him and other members of the team to feel that a pardon "is going to happen," perhaps "very, very soon."

"We're excited about all of the phone calls we've gotten today," Love told the outlet. "We feel that it's very, very close. We're grateful to our friends. We're more than overly excited. We cannot wait for this to be over with…the pardon's gonna happen."

Should the president issue the pardon, Exotic will be leaving prison in style. The team is so confident that he will be released that they have entered into an agreement with Heaven on Wheels Limosouine and Transportation Services, a Dallas-area lime company, and have a Dodge Ram pickup truck stretch limo on standby 24/7. According to TMZ, the ride is decked out with "all the bells and whistles."

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year jail sentence. He was handed the sentencing after he was charged, tried, and convicted on 19 different counts. Exotic was charged with 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.


Since Netflix released Tiger King in March, however, Exotic has made multiple pleas for a presidential pardon, writing in a June letter to the president that he would be "dead in 2-3 months" if he did not receive help. Trump himself has said that he would consider a presidential pardon. Asked by a reporter in April about helping Exotic, the president said that he would "take a look," though it is unclear if he has stayed true to that word. Should he issue a pardon, Trump has just two months to do so before President-elect Joe Biden moves into the White House.