'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic requests pardon from Trump: 'Be my hero please'
© Netflix

“Tiger King” star Joe Exotic has submitted an application for a pardon to the Trump administration, according to multiple reports.

The Netflix star, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, submitted a handwritten letter to be delivered to the White House on Thursday, CBS News reported. In the letter, Maldonado-Passage writes, “If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you, not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what you believe no matter what anyone thinks.” 

Maldonado-Passage said he voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election, when he launched his own short-lived presidential campaign


He said his elderly father is in a nursing home and claimed that federal officials lied in prosecuting him. Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year federal prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against fellow “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin. He has also been found guilty of multiple wildlife violations.

“I am begging you to listen to the millions who see the truth. I’m asking you to listen to your own son Donald Jr. and make this right and grant me a miracle ‘a pardon’ and let me put this behind me and go save my dad he is 86 and go live my life with my husband ‘Dillon,” he wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE.

“But most of all so I can return to helping sick children and the homeless, allow me to make you proud, to make American proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please,” he continued.

Maldonado-Passage is also requesting that the typical five-year wait time for a presidential pardon be waived, according to CBS News. 

Trump joked about the Netflix star earlier this year, saying he would “take a look” at Maldonado-Passage’s case after being asked about it during a coronavirus press briefing.


"You think he didn’t do it? Are you recommending a pardon?" Trump asked a reporter who asked about a potential pardon.

The reporter noted that one of the president’s sons had quipped that Maldonado-Passage deserved a pardon, to which Trump responded, "Must be Don. I had a feeling it was Don,” referring to Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining Trump Jr., UFC star launch anti-socialism bus tour through South Florida Donald Trump Jr. urges hunters to vote for his father MORE 

Maldonado-Passage also submitted additional pardon application materials this week, and he sent a letter to Trump Jr. last month seeking help and claiming that he has faced violence in prison, according to multiple reports