genres has decided to let his archnemesis help him get a reduced prison sentence, according to reports.
Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison 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 us-regions.
‘TIGER KING’ STAR CAROLE BASKIN CLAIMS JOE EXOTIC RIVALRY WAS ‘FABRICATED’ FOR NETFLIX SHOW
Baskin and her husband Howard said they would lend a hand to Maldonado-Passage if he agreed to publicly back a law seeking to end private ownership of big cats, which was passed by the House of Representatives in early December.
“It is time for Carole and Howard to put up or shut the hell up, because I’m accepting their offer,” Exotic, 58, told Entertainment Tonight from the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, us-regions. “And I’m gonna take it one step further than that, OK? It is time to get on the phone to President Biden or whoever they need to that they’ve got in their little financial pocket and say, ‘Hey, Joe is willing to support a big-cat bill to help protect cats in America from being exploited. But we need to keep our end of the deal and get Joe a pardon because this wasn’t really about murder for hire or shooting five tigers – this was about exploiting Joe to support Carole’s agenda.’ So, there’s the offer on the table, all right?”
The Baskins, however, are conditional with their support.
“If Joe were to come out and say, ‘I now know what I did was wrong and I want to help. I would like to support passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act and stop this breeding.’ If he were to do that, it might position him in a positive way for a pardon. And, frankly, I might be willing to go and urge at least a reduction in his sentence,” Howard told the Mirror earlier this month.
“He could take all of this fame and become a hero who could save the tiger from extinction,” Carole added. “We’re going to lose the tiger in the wild in the next few years if we don’t stop private possession that is creating this flood of cats into the illegal trade, which is a smokescreen for poaching in the wild. That is something he could do something with and get all the glory and fame he ever wanted and do a good thing.”
During the 2020 trial, a jury heard evidence that Maldonado-Passage paid a man $3,000 to travel to Florida and kill Baskin, with a promise to pay more after she was dead. Maldonado-Passage was upset that Baskin, his outspoken critic, had won a million-dollar civil judgment against him.
After his initial attempt failed, prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage offered $10,000 to an undercover FBI agent to kill Baskin during a meeting that was recorded and played for the jury. In the recording, he told the agent, “Just like follow her into a mall parking lot and just cap her and drive off.”
The rivals became internationally famous on the netflix” target=”_blank”>Netflix< in March of last year, right as infectious-disease kept people home and in search of more digital entertainment, and brought light to the issue of inhumane big-cat ownership in the U.S.
The TV series extensively covered Maldonado-Passage’s repeated accusations that Baskin killed her husband Don Lewis, who disappeared in 1997, and possibly fed him to her tigers. Baskin has never been charged with any crime and released a statement at the time refuting the accusations made in the series.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.