Joe Exotic, the star of the Netflix series Tiger King who is serving 22 years in prison for plotting to kill a rival zookeeper, is asking Kim Kardashian West to use her influence with President Trump in order to score a pardon.
Joe, 57, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, wrote a letter to the 40-year-old reality television star dated November 4th, according to Entertainment Tonight.
‘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 wrote in the letter.
‘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.’
Joe Exotic (left), the subject of the hit Netflix documentary Tiger King, wrote a letter to Kim Kardashian West (seen right dressed as Carole Baskin during Halloween) asking her to use her influence with President Trump in order to get him a pardon
The president, who has just weeks remaining in office, is reportedly considering a slew of pardons
The letter continued: ‘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.’
Joe urged Kardashian to call him, saying: ‘No one even has to know you did it.’
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star has emerged as a criminal justice reform activist who helped persuade the president to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, a black woman who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a federal court for her involvement in a cocaine trafficking organization.
Kardashian, the 40-year-old reality television star, has used her celebrity to urge Trump and others to enact criminal justice reform. She is seen right with the president in the White House on June 13, 2019
Kardashian successfully lobbied Trump to grant clemency to Alice Marie Johnson, who was serving a life sentence in federal prison for taking part in a cocaine trafficking ring. The two are seen above in June 2018
Kardashian has also lobbied governors and state legislators on behalf of people who are seeking early release from prison.
Maldonado-Passage became a nationwide celebrity after he was featured in the Netflix documentary.
Tiger King tells the story of how Carole Baskin, the owner of a big cat refuge, sought to shut down Maldonado-Passage’s for-profit breeding of big cats.
FULL TEXT OF LETTER FROM JOE EXOTIC TO KIM KARDASHIAN
Dear Kim K
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.
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.
Kim, with just the little proof that came out in the Daily Mail article that Asst. U.S. Attorney Amanda Green, Agent Bryant and my public defenders had in their hands showing Allen was lying under oath and they allowed him to and convict me.
Knowing I was innocent is such a travisty [sic] of justice.
But now Amanda Green has been promoted to a federal judge with such ethics, you have to wonder how many other innocent people has she put in prison for this promotion?
How many more will she with her new power? Just because people can’t afford lawyers these people are using them as convictions for a resume?
Please help me get President Trump to see this is all wrong and not only sign my pardon but to ask Attorney [General] William Barr to open every case they have been on and look for perjury for a conviction.
You could not only help me get home but you might help hundreds of others get justice that have been wrongfully convicted for Amanda Green’s Resume.
I have lost 56 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.
Will you please help me with just a phone call? No one evern has to know you did it.
Give the family my love and prayers.
Joe Moldonado Passage
His nickname is ‘Joe Exotic’ and his signature line is ‘cool cats and kittens.’
Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year federal prison term for killing five tigers and plotting to have Baskin killed.
In June, a federal judge awarded Baskin ownership of the private Oklahoma zoo run by Maldonado-Passage.
During the trial, Allen Glover testified that Joe Exotic paid him $3,000 to kill Baskin.
Matt Bryant, a special agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, testified that he had been investigating Joe Exotic for years before discovering that he had hatched a plot to kill Baskin.
In his letter to Kardashian, Joe Exotic claims that Glover and Bryant were lying in court and that the prosecutor in the case sought a conviction just to boost her resume.
The prosecutor in the case, Amanda Maxfield Green, was later appointed to a magistrate judgeship on the federal bench in Oklahoma.
In his letter, Joe mentions a DailyMail.com story from October in which it is claimed that unearthed text messages prove his innocence.
Maldonado-Passage became a nationwide celebrity after he was featured in the Netflix documentary Tiger King
Tiger King tells the story of how Carole Baskin (left), the owner of a big cat refuge, sought to shut down Maldonado-Passage’s for-profit breeding of big cats. Federal authorities said Maldonado-Passage paid Allen Glover $3,000 as part of a plot to have Baskin (left) killed
Central to the prosecution’s case was $3,000 lawyers claim Exotic paid Glover for the hit and a ‘burner’ cell phone registered to a pizza restaurant that he gave him so they could communicate.
But in critical new evidence uncovered by ‘Team Tiger’ – a group of investigators and lawyers working to free Exotic – it appears the animal trainer didn’t give Glover the cell phone, but in fact Glover stole it.
In one of the newly-revealed text messages, obtained by DailyMailTV, Exotic writes to his ex-business partner Jeff Lowe on December 5, 2017, saying: ‘F**king Allen stole the pizza phone.’
Glover was Exotic’s zoo handyman at the time and a close friend of Lowe’s.
Federal prosecutors said in court that Exotic used the phone in question to help carry out his plans for murder, yet they failed to disclose at trial that these text messages ever existed.
So far, Kardashian has not commented publicly about Joe Exotic’s case, though she has taken an interest in Tiger King.
Like millions of other Americans, she binge-watched the Netflix series.
Maldonado-Passage’s team are lobbying for a pardon
‘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?’ Kardashian tweeted back in March.
Joe Exotic accused Baskin of killing her late husband, Don Lewis. No arrests have been made in the case. Baskin has denied the allegation and no evidence has emerged tying her to Lewis’ disappearance.
Baskin’s current husband, Howard Baskin, invited Kardashian to meet him and his wife.
‘I doubt if Kim will see this video, but if she were to come and spend an hour with Carole I know she would have her answer and I know what it would be,’ Howard Baskin says in the video, adding, ‘Of course we would welcome her visiting if she wanted to.’
Kardashian was so inspired by Tiger King that for Halloween she and her good friend, Jonathan Cheban, dressed up as Baskin and Joe Exotic, respectively.
Her children were dressed as big cats.
With about seven weeks remaining in office, President Trump is said to be considering a slew of pardons.
Last month, Joe Exotic wrote the president a letter pleading for an early release from prison while his representatives spent around $10,000 at Trump’s Washington, DC, hotel in a bid to help his cause.
Earlier this year, Trump said he would consider issuing a pardon for Maldonado-Passage, after his son Donald Trump Jr. brought the case to him.
‘I’ll take a look,’ he told reporters in April.
In June, when Trump Jr. interviewed his father for a campaign video, the president said he had seen ‘a couple of episodes’ of the true crime miniseries.
‘He’s quite a character,’ Trump said of Maldonado-Passage. ‘That’s a strange guy and a lot of strange people around him.’
In September, Joe Exotic wrote a two-page handwritten letter to President Trump asking for a pardon
In the letter, the reality TV star spoke of his admiration for the president
Maldonado-Passage’s supporters also have posted a series of letters online that he’s written to the White House seeking a pardon.
Last week, Eric Love, an attorney for Maldonado-Passage, told ABC News a pardon was possible.
He said: ‘We are waiting on the pen to hit the paper, we think we are very, very close.’
A White House source confirmed to ABC News that they had heard from Love.
He wrote to Trump in September and begged him: ‘Be my hero, please.’
He insists that he was wrongly convicted on the testimony of people who the government knew were lying.
‘I grew up having faith in our system until I became trapped in it,’ he writes.
Maldonado-Passage tells the president that he voted for him, and that he looks up to him.
‘If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you,’ he writes.
‘Not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what YOU believe no matter what anyone thinks.’
He writes that everything he works for was ‘stolen by criminals’, and says he is ‘begging you to listen to the millions who see the truth’.
Maldonado-Passage wrote a separate letter to the president’s son, who in April said he felt the 22-year-sentence was ‘aggressive’.
In August, Maldonado-Passage wrote a four-page handwritten letter to Donald Trump Jr
Trump Jr said in April that he felt Maldonado-Passage’s sentence was ‘aggressive’
Maldonado-Passage told Trump Jr that he had been sexually assaulted in prison
He ended his letter to the president’s son: ‘#TrumpJr2024’
‘I watched the show but I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t,’ Trump Jr said.
‘It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, ‘We’re putting this guy away for 30 years,’ I’m saying, ‘That seems … sort of aggressive.”
Maldonado-Passage wrote a letter to Trump Jr on Facebook in June, and in his new letter writes: ‘Hey, it’s me again, Joe Exotic, I hate to bother you again but I truly have faith in you.’
The zoo owner claims that he is the victim of ‘fake news’, writing that he has been subjected to the whims of ‘bad agents, bad cops and bad prosecutors’.
He tells Trump Jr, a passionate hunter and outdoorsman, that he has been wrongly judged by over-zealous animal welfare authorities.
And he tells him he has been sexually assaulted inside the Grady County jail in Oklahoma. He has since been transferred to a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.
‘I have been sexually assaulted by jail staff, beat up and tied in a chair to the point the skin came off my arms,’ he wrote.
‘Please be my hero … my hands are damaged from the abuse in jail so I’m sorry for the soppy (sic) writing and spelling.’
The jail has denied that Maldonado-Passage was harmed.
He ended his letter with the phrase: ‘#TrumpJr.2024.’
This past Halloween, Kardashian was inspired to dress up as Carole Baskin while her good friend, Jonathan Cheban, dressed up as Joe Exotic. Kim’s three young children dressed up as exotic cats
While Kardashian has never publicly commented on Joe Exotic’s case, she has binge-watched the Netflix series
In March, she tweeted to her fans: ‘What are your thoughts? Do you think Carol killed him?’ Kardashian was referring to Joe Exotic’s claim that Carole Baskin was responsible for the disappearance of her first husband. That claim has been unsubstantiated
After Kardashian sent her tweet, Carole Baskin’s current husband, Howard Baskin, posted a video in March inviting the reality television star to meet him and his wife
In his 257-page file, Maldonado-Passage says he fears he may die before his scheduled 2037 release owing to anemia and other immune deficiencies.
He insists that he never intended to kill his rival, Carol Baskin, and described his comments about plotting to murder her – as captured in the Netflix documentary – as ‘hyperbole’.
His lawyers claim the ‘threats’ were ‘simply another aspect of his showmanship … Joe’s jokes, at most, in bad taste, were merely jokes.’
He admitted killing the tigers, but said it was because they needed to be euthanized.
Maldonado-Passage also submitted character references including one from his husband Dillon Passage, and one from Kerri Walker, whose cousin worked at the zoo.
Walker makes an appeal to Trump, saying Maldonado-Passage was wrongly judged, in the way that Trump was with the ‘grab-’em-by-the-p***y’ tape.
His husband writes: ‘I see a sweet, big heart man, with good intentions, who took a few steps down a dark road, and he’s just waiting to be pulled out of it.’