"Tiger King" star Joe Exotic is seeking pardon from the White House and his personal pleas to President Trump have been revealed.
It emerged this week that Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, had officially requested a presidential pardon from his 22-year prison sentence that he is serving for convictions related to animal abuse and the murder-for-hire of animal rights activist Carole Baskin.
Part of his request included two personal letters addressed to President Trump, which have now been shared by Yahoo News.
"If I have ever looked up to anyone it would be you," Maldonado-Passage wrote in one letter, "not because I need you to save my life but because you stand for what you believe no matter what anyone thinks."
Maldonado-Passage noted that President Trump inspired him to launch his own 2016 presidential campaign, but he still ended up voting for him in the end. The reality TV star then described how his parents and his life, as well as all they had worked for, had been "stolen by criminals who got everything we had for nothing." He added that his mother had since died "during this mess" and his father was "locked in a nursing home" somewhere.
Maldonado-Passage wrote that he grew up "having faith in the system" until his trial, during which several federal employees reportedly knew "their witnesses were lying under oath and even helped them." He begged President Trump to grant him a "miracle" and "a pardon," so that he could put the ordeal behind him.
"Allow me to make you proud, to make America proud, to make the world proud. Be my hero please," Maldonado-Passage wrote.
In a second letter addressed to Donald Trump Jr., he claims to have been "sexually assaulted by jail staff, beat up and tied to a chair."
"Dying could not be as bad as what this system has done to me," Maldonado-Passage continued. "You see the outcry from people around the world asking you and our President to make this right and grant me a miracle and ask your father, the best President America has ever had to sign my pardon as soon as it gets to him."
In April, Trump said he would look into Maldonado-Passage's request for a pardon.
"I know nothing about it," Trump told reporters at a press briefing. "He has 22 years for what? What did he do?"
Donald Trump Jr. jokingly said he would lobby for a presidential pardon just to see the mainstream media's reaction. President Trump said he had not spoken to his son about it but would "take a look."