Joe Exotic is still hopeful Joe Biden will pardon him

The ‘Tiger King’ star said he was “too innocent and too GAY” to receive a pardon from Trump

Joe Exotic is still holding out for a presidential pardon from new US president Joe Biden.

Exotic, the big cat owner who became an overnight celebrity upon the release of Netflix’s Tiger King last year, had been hoping for a pardon from former president Donald Trump, going as far as to have a limousine parked outside his prison in anticipation of his release.

In new emails sent to his team by Exotic that have been obtained by TMZ, the TV star has expressed hope that the new administration will grant him the pardon Trump refused.


Some of his optimism reportedly stems from a TV show he watched based around new Vice President Kamala Harris, which TMZ says led Exotic to believe that Harris can “help clean up the corruption in the DOJ and other agencies”.

Joe Exotic Tiger King
Joe Exotic. CREDIT: YouTube/Animal Planet

“I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump,” Exotic wrote in a tweet last week after he failed to make Trump’s extensive list of last-minute pardons before he exited office.

“I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post,” he continued. “Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first.”

The zoo owner is currently serving a 22-year sentence at a Fort Worth, Texas prison for attempting to hire a hitman to assassinate his rival Carole Baskin, in addition to a myriad of animal abuse charges.

As well as having a stretch-truck limousine parked outside his prison to transport him to a secure location if he received a pardon, the head lawyer on Exotic’s case, private investigator Eric Love, also filmed a celebration video in anticipation – so confident he was that Exotic would be released from prison.


143 people in total were recipients of Trump’s pardons or had their sentences commuted on his final day in office. Those pardoned included the likes of Lil Wayne, Kodak Black and Death Row records co-founder Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris.