Fallen Tiger King Joe Exotic was so confident he’d be one of Donald Trump’s pardons that he even ordered a limo to pick him up from jail.
He was left red-faced and flat-haired when he was left out of the outgoing president’s 73 pardons.
Joe Exotic (aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage) is serving a 22-year sentence in a prison in Texas, for violating federal wildlife laws and for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting his chief rival, Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.
His support team on Wednesday (US time) released a statement detailing their shock and disappointment that Exotic was to remain incarcerated.
‘Team Tiger’ said: “140 million Joe Exotic fans had a hard time getting out of bed this morning.”
“We are as disappointed that the president did not sign Joe’s pardon, as we were confident that he would,” their statement said.
It also meant the limousine, make-up artist and wardrobe team they’d hire to meet and primp him at the jail entrance, went to waste.
The other half to the Tiger King lore, Carole Baskin, was chuffed at the snub – she wrote on social media that she was “thankful” he missed out on a pardon.
Exotic and Baskin were the crux of the 2020 Netflix smash Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, where the locked-down world had no choice but to be entranced by the blond mullets and furious rivalries of the big cat world of America.
Exotic was convicted in 2019 of various charges – attempted murder, plus killing tigers and selling their cubs – but he has maintained his innocence.
He’s due to be released in 2037, but his lawyers say he will die in prison, due to underlying health concerns.