Joe Exotic and his legal team are launching a campaign to ask Donald Trump for a pardon. The formal request will come in the next few days, TMZ reports, with the hope that he’ll be able to plead his case to the president, one criminal reality star to another.
The subject of Netflix’s Tiger King was sentenced to 22 years in prison, having been found guilty of trying to hire a hitman to kill Carole Baskin, his nemesis, as well 17 counts of (and this is a technical legal term) being a dick to animals. But Exotic has maintained his innocence, and his defense basically boils down to, “Would I have told everyone I would pay good money to have Carol Baskin killed if I was actually going to do it?”
So far, his strategy for presidential outreach involves wrapping a bus in an eye-catching decal that says “President Trump Please Pardon Joe Exotic.” There’s an open-air space towards the back of the bus, where a small crowd of people can give each other coronavirus and shout things like, “Free Joe Exotic!” TMZsuggests that there’s more to the plan, which will be revealed in the coming days.
Joe Exotic’s message may find a receptive audience in the White House. Donald Trump, Jr. recently said he thought the 22-year sentence was “too aggressive,” and while Trump senior admitted to knowing “nothing about it,” he did say he’d “take a look” at a pardon. In the meantime Exotic is suing the US government for $94 million.
Even if Joe Exotic stays behind bars, his story isn’t going away any time soon. Nicolas Cage is set to play Exotic in a new scripted series from American Vandal‘s Dan Lagana.