“Tiger King” breakout star Joe Exotic is speaking out after President Donald Trump declined to pardon him before leaving office.
Exotic, 57, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, tweeted that his sexual orientation and indisputable innocence resulted in him being excluded from the list of last-minute pardons. Exotic is serving a 22-year federal prison sentence in Texas for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against his rival, Carole Baskin, 59. He was also convicted of wildlife violations.
The “Tiger King” star also accused Donald Trump Jr. of calling attention to his case to boost his social media presence. The former president’s son told a SiriusXM radio show in April that Exotic’s prison sentence was “aggressive,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump. I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post. Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first. pic.twitter.com/ysGfwnqlHi
— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) January 20, 2021
Exotic applied for a pardon in September. Reports indicated that he had a limo and glam squad on standby in case he was released on Wednesday. However, he tweeted that he did not rent them nor were they his idea.
Before Wednesday’s announcement, Exotic’s legal team reportedly said they were “very confident” the jailed star would be pardoned. Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black were among Trump’s list of last-minute pardons.
During the popular Netflix series, Exotic accused Baskin of being involved in the 1997 disappearance of her husband, Don Lewis, who was last seen leaving their home in Tampa, Florida.
Baskin has repeatedly denied involvement in her husband’s disappearance. Hillsborough County police have said Baskin is not considered a suspect.
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[Featured image: Joe Exotic/AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File]