Source: Getty, Netflix

Is Joe Exotic the "Very, Very Important Person" Donald Trump Pardoned?



Those of us who have torn through Netflix's greatest docu-series Tiger King are well-aware that former zoo owner, country singer, and political candidate, Joe Exotic (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage), is presumably going to spend the rest of his life in prison. However, rumor has it that President Donald Trump may ultimately pardon Exotic's 22-year sentence.

So, will Trump actually pardon Joe Exotic's jail sentence, or is it simply a rumor? Stay tuned for everything we know regarding the fate of Carole Baskin's attempted murderer.

Source: Netflix

Why do people think Donald Trump is pardoning Joe Exotic from prison?

As most of us know, Exotic was sent to prison for two counts of murder-for-hire, after paying someone to attempt to murder his arch-nemesis, Florida conservatory owner, Carole Baskin. He was also charged for violating the Endangered Species Act in terms of mishandling his big cats, as well as falsifying wildlife records, according to Cinemablend. 

Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in prison, and apparently, he feels this was an unfair conviction, according to New York Post. Now, he's asking Donald Trump to pardon him from prison. 

Source: Getty

Will it actually happen?

When a reporter asked the POTUS in an April interview if he would consider pardoning Exotic's lengthy sentence, Trump said he never saw Tiger King, and proceeded to ask about Exotic's case. After half-listening to the reporter's response, explaining the crimes Exotic was charged with, Trump asked the reporter if he was advocating for it, before disregarding the question, saying it would be unethical for the reporter to weigh in.

Eventually, Trump stated that he would — in fact — "look into" the Tiger King's case, and apparently, Donald Trump Jr. has already said that he wants to advocate for Joe.

On Aug. 17, the president confirmed that he was going to pardon a "very, very important person" the following day. People, once again, began speculating that Trump was referring to none other than Joe Exotic. 

But, Joe Exotic will be remaining in prison for the foreseeable future, as President Trump used his pardon for someone else entirely. Suffragette Susan B. Anthony was given a posthumous pardon for attempting to vote in 1872, while it was still illegal for women to do so. At the time, she was fined $100, and she was convicted of illegally voting.

The pardon comes on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. 

In prison, Joe Exotic may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

While it has not been officially confirmed if Joe has contracted COVID-19 in prison, it turns out that a number of his fellow inmates, as well as guards, have tested positive for the illness. Exotic's fourth husband, 24-year-old Dillion Passage, revealed to Andy Cohen on his Sirius XM radio series that Joe was forced into isolation at Oklahoma's Grady County Jail, before getting relocated to the Federal Bureau of Prisons-operated Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Tex.

Dillion apparently also told Andy that he and Joe had previously been speaking several times a day since his sentence began, however, they have not been able to speak at all since Joe was moved to his new facility. Again, it has not been confirmed if Joe does — in fact — have the coronavirus, but it sounds like there's a decent chance he does.

Source: YouTube

The likelihood of Exotic actually getting pardoned from his prison sentence is probably next to nothing, especially after Trump used his pardon for Susan B. Anthony. If Exotic ultimately does get out early, we wouldn't be totally shocked. Carole Baskin may want to sleep with one eye open.

Tiger King is available to stream on Netflix now.

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