Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known by his stage name Joe Exotic, is an American (former) zoo operator now turned convicted felon who became infamous after the release of Netflix’s Tiger King documentary, which focused on the 57-year-old and his archenemy, Carole Baskin. What fewer people might be aware of is that Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of plotting a murder-for-hire against Big Cat Rescue owner Baskin, among other charges.
Since March 2020, he has been incarcerated at FMC Fort Worth in Texas and by June 2020, Baskin received control of Exotic’s zoo property. Now, as if this story wasn’t crazy enough, Exotic is hoping that Kim Kardashian West will help get him out from behind bars. In a new handwritten letter obtained by ET, the Tiger King star writes to the reality star and criminal justice reform activist, asking for her help in getting a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump.
The letter reads, “I know you have never met me and may never want to however I do believe that you hold the values of our justice system dear to your heart,” Joe writes in the letter dated Nov. 4. “I am writing you this letter not as Joe Exotic but as the person Joseph Maldonado-Passage, asking you to please help me by just taking 10 minutes out of your life and placing a call to President Trump to look at my 257 page pardon it’s all the evidence I’m innocent and ask him to sign my pardon so I can return home to [my husband] Dillon and my father.”
Exotic adds, “I have lost 57 years of work, my zoo, my animals, my mother has died, my dad is dying and I’ve been taken away from my husband who I love dearly. Everyone is so busy making movies, getting interviews, selling stuff and dressing up like me that everyone forgot I’m a real live person in prison and kept from even telling my own story for something I didn’t do.”
Towards the end of the letter, he explains to Kardashian that “No one even has to know you did it.”
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Ironically, Kardashian has already shown that she is a big Tiger King fan. Back in October, the mother of four and her friend, Jonathan Cheban, dressed up as Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic for Halloween with her kids as tigers. She also expressed an interest in the series back in March, tweeting, “Wow the amount of texts I’ve gotten about Tiger King since I tweeted about it all have mentioned their belief that Carol killed her husband! What are your thoughts? Do you think Carol killed him?”
So far, it hasn’t been precised whether the celebrity intends to help Exotic out. But in the meantime, Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue has offered to have Kardashian come visit their sanctuary, which she hasn’t responded publicly to either.