Joe Exotic Reveals Surprising Friendship With '90 Day Fiance' Star Jesse Meester

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Joe Exotic revealed a friendship no one saw coming. On Tuesday, the incarcerated Tiger King star -- whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage -- shared an Instagram post about 90 Day Fiance star Jesse Meester, whom he hopes will help him get clemency.

"Meet my amazing dear friend Jesse Meester, actor, model, and so much more," Exotic captioned a shirtless picture of Meester. "You will see him around on my stuff more and more as he is going to help me get a voice to the White House for President [Joe] Biden to sign my pardon before November of this year."

"Show him some love," he added. "Love you, Jesse."

It didn't take long for Meester -- whose most known for his tumultuous relationship with fellow 90 Day Fiance star Darcey and dating another star of the franchise, Jeniffer -- to return the love in the comments section of Exotic's post. "We love you too Joe! People close to you turned their back on you, but not us," he replied. "You helped many people through lockdown and we should never forget the truth and authenticity you lived your life with."

Meester added, "It’s sad that the backstabbing and lying has become the norm this society. Time to unite and fight back to get you out."

On Meester's page, he shared screenshots of media coverage of his friendship with Exotic, asking people to fill out a contact form on his website if they'd like to help "#freeJoe."

Exotic previously reached out to Kim Kardashian -- who is known for her work as criminal justice reform activist -- for help in getting a presidential pardon from then-President Donald Trump

"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," he wrote in a letter obtained by ET in December 2020. "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 [Passage] and my father." 

He added, "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." 

Exotic is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence for his 2017 murder-for-hire case involving Carole Baskin. After his sentence was shortened by one year in January, Exotic's lawyer, John M. Phillips, told ET in a statement, "Joe’s sentencing was shortened. We are unsatisfied with the court’s decision and will appeal. It was, however, expected. The judge repeatedly noted that the main issues will be addressed at the next hearing. The main issues will be addressed in the Motion for New Trial. It’s coming."


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