Joe Exotic Asks to Be Pardoned, Sends Message to Dillon Passage From Prison: See the Letter (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
Joe Exotic is speaking out from prison. The self-described Tiger King sent a three-page letter to podcaster Josh Belcher, asking for it to be read on his show. Belcher read the note on Thursday's episode of Josh Belcher Uncharted, and only ET has photos of the letter Exotic sent from behind bars.
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of plotting a murder-for-hire against Carole Baskin, among other charges. Exotic's letter is dated May 21, before Baskin was granted control of his G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.
The focus of Exotic's letter is thus more general remarks about how he believes he is wrongfully incarcerated. Exotic states that "wrong has been done." "Let's hope President Trump will... make this right and grant me a pardon," he writes, alleging later in the letter that "two Assistant U.S. Attorneys, two FBI agents and a federal wildlife agent all conspired to commit perjury," in evidence unseen by his jury.
Additionally, Exotic claims he's being abused in prison. "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," he alleges.
Exotic concludes his letter by asking fans to "keep my story alive and be my voice." "And if you see Dillon [Passage] online, tell him his husband misses and loves him dearly and I'm coming home somehow," he says.
Baskin was awarded Exotic's park on Monday, as part of a trademark judgment against former owner, and Baskin's nemesis, Joe Exotic, according to court documents obtained by ET. The park is currently operated by Jeff Lowe, who told ET on Tuesday that the zoo would be in a state of "complete hell" when Baskin gets her hands on it.
"I mean, because I'm not taking care of it as we leave," said Lowe, who was given 120 days to vacate the property, including all animals currently living there. "The bamboo is about taking this place over."
According to Lowe -- whose own complex legal and personal relationships with Exotic and Baskin played a large role in Netflix's Tiger King documentary and Exotic's eventual incarceration -- he'd been expecting the ruling for some time.
"We have anticipated this for almost two years. As soon as we came into the picture, Carole kind of automatically wrapped us under the same umbrella as Joe and tried to get me included in his judgement for a million dollars," he said. "I think she expected I could pay it when Joe never could so she fought long and hard and wasted a lot of money to get me named in her lawsuit."