Netflix's 'Tiger King' Joe Exotic seeks presidential pardon

Netflix star posted the public plea on his Facebook page

WARNING: This story may contain spoilers from the recently-released Netflix documentary, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

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Netflix's “Tiger King” Joe Exotic has asked President Trump to pardon him of his conviction for a murder-for-hire plot just days after filing a $94 million lawsuit against former colleagues and several entities within the United States government.

"Mr. President, I am pleading with you to please have this looked into."

- Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, posted the public plea on his Facebook page on Wednesday, urging Trump “for a special investigation or a Presidential Pardon from the Conviction I have Just received,” he wrote. The post later accuses an unnamed person of a series of crimes, including human trafficking and "Drugging young women for sex."

“My trial was not about the truth, it was about the win for the prosecutors. Why do I say this? Because I can prove every lie and the U.S Attorneys office had that proof,” he wrote in the post.

After listing what he believed were wrongdoings against him, Maldonado-Passage continued: “I know by seeing your passion and conviction regarding our rights as American Citizens that this isn't what you meant by your belief to ‘Let's Make America Great Again’. Mr. President, I am pleading with you to please have this looked into.”

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The streaming service's seven-part docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” was released on March 20 and chronicles the life of Maldonado-Passage, who goes by the name “Joe Exotic” in the show, and several other exotic animal owners and zookeepers.

The show gives viewers a look inside the bitter feud between Maldonado-Passage – and others – and “Big Cat Rescue” sanctuary owner Carole Baskin.

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Maldonado-Passage was convicted in April 2019 of federal murder-for-hire charges in connection to attempts to have Baskin killed for allegedly trying to force him out of business for years.

He was also convicted of falsifying wildlife records and for violating the Endangered Species Act for killing five tiger cubs.

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In November 2017, Maldonado-Passage paid a zoo worker cash to kill Baskin. Instead, he took the money and ran. In a second attempt, he hired another hitman who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent, prosecutors said.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage seen in a Santa Rosa County Jail booking photo. (Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)

“Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off,” said Maldonado-Passage in a recording shown at trial.

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On March 17, 2020, he filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma federal court seeking $94 million in damages from the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services and its former director, Daniel Ashe, two federal government employees, a confidential informant and former zoo co-owner, Jeffery Lee Lowe, according to a separate Facebook post.

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The lawsuit accuses the defendants of, among other charges, perjury, false arrest and imprisonment, misleading a grand jury, malicious prosecution, discrimination and his mother’s death.

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Maldonado-Passage wrote in the Wednesday Facebook post he is “currently incarcerated at the Grady County Jail in Oklahoma and facing 20 - 50 years in prison for doing the same thing every zoo and sanctuary owner has had to do at one time or another.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.