Joe "Exotic" Maldonado-Passage isn't giving up. The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness star may be sitting in prison, but he's asking President Donald Trump to help him out. Maldonado-Passage sent podcaster Josh Belcher a three page letter to be read on his show Josh Belcher Uncharted, that's not only asking the President for a pardon, but explaining how he has been wrongfully convicted.
"Let's hope President Trump will... make this right and grant me a pardon," he stated in the letter according to Entertainment Tonight after saying that "wrong has been done." He also alleges that "two Assistant U.S. Attorneys, two FBI agents and federal wildlife agent all conspired to commit perjury." The former zoo owner also claimed that he's being abused in prison, writing, "I have scars from the skin coming off of my arms from being strapped in a chair so tight and so long just for demanding answers." The three-page, hand-written letter concluded with him asking his fans to "keep my story alive and be my voice" while also requesting that if anyone see's his husband Dillon Passage online to tell him that he "misses and loves him dearly" and that he plans on returning home somehow.
Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of plotting a murder-for-hire against Big Cat Rescue founder Carole Baskin among several other charges. Baskin was recently awarded his old zoo, G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Its current owner, and former business partner of Maldonado-Passage, Jeff Lowe, says he plans on leaving the zoo in "complete hell" so by the time Baskin takes over, the zoo's condition won't be in good shape.
"I mean, because I'm not taking care of it as we leave," he confessed to the outlet. "The bamboo is about taking this place over." Lowe was given 120 days to leave the premises and clean everything out including the animals, and the last thing on his mind has been the upkeep. Baskin was given the zoo at the beginning of June as part of a trademark judgement against Maldonado-Passage, nearly seven years after he was ordered to pay her $1 million for trademark infringement. As far as Lowe is concerned, he's not surprised that she was awarded the zoo, and quite frankly doesn't seem to care. "We have anticipated this for almost two years. As soon as we came into the picture, Carol kind of automatically wrapped us under the same umbrella as Joe and tried to get me included in his judgement for a million dollars. I think she expected I could pay it when Joe never could so she found long and hard and wasted a lot of money to get me named in her lawsuit."