Tiger King's Joe Exotic misses out on Trump pardon

The Tiger King star will remain in prison, after failing to make President Trump's clemency list.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly on September 24, 2019 in New York City. World leaders are gathered for the 74th session of the UN amid a warning by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his address yesterday of the looming risk of a world splitting between the two largest economies - the U.S. and China.
(Image credit: Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump’s clemency list was released by the White House this morning and Joe Exotic, the star of Netflix's Tiger King, did not make the cut. 

With just hours to go until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, President Trump signed off on the pardons of 76 people, including rapper Lil Wayne and Steve Bannon, the former Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor to the President. He also commuted the sentences of 70 others, including a large number of non-violent offenders with drug charges. 

Despite much speculation that Exotic would receive clemency, his name was nowhere to be found on the lengthy list. 

The Netflix star, who is serving a 22-year prison sentence on two counts of murder-for-hire and numerous counts of animal cruelty, voiced his hopes yesterday to be pardoned by his political idol on Twitter. 

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“As I sit here and pray waiting that I am on that list, I ask my group of Angels to please help God guide this to happen,” he tweeted. 

“I am going to help so many children fix their faces and stand up for those with no voice. God will be proud.” 

Exotic, who owned a large wildlife park in Oklahoma, was convicted in April 2019 of endangering animals and plotting to kill animal rights activist and rival Carole Baskin. 

Exotic voted for President Trump in the 2016 election, after briefly running for president himself. In 2020, President Trump hinted at the possibility of a pardon for the disgraced zoo lord, telling a reporter, “I’ll take a look.” 

Exotic’s legal team, named ‘Team Tiger,’ was so confident of a pardon that they even hired a limo to collect their client from prison. With hopes of an early release now dashed, the reality TV star will remain behind bars. His attorneys have said that he will ‘likely die in prison’ due to his deteriorating health and advancing age. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.