'Tiger King' star Joe Exotic released from solitary confinement after months in coronavirus lockdown

Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix’s immensely popular documentary series “Tiger King,” has been released from solitary confinement after a massive letter-writing campaign.

The enigmatic celebrity, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was released from solitary after spending months on lockdown due to the coronavirus. His husband, Dillon Passage, had revealed the lockdown news in April, telling Andy Cohen’s SirusXM show at the time that Joe was placed in solitary after the prison he was in started to have cases. He noted that he was unable to speak to him as a result of the lockdown.

“Joe is OUT of isolation and getting the care he needs because of YOU!!” a post on Instagram Tuesday from Joe’s representative reads. “More than 2,000 of Joe’s BIGGEST FANS hand-wrote letters asking for his release and it worked, proving that there is strength in numbers. THANK YOU!!!”

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The post from Eric Love was accompanied by a lengthier statement explaining the situation.

“Recently, most of you became aware of the fact that Joe was being unjustly held in solitary confinement for an extended period of time. Two thousand of you were kind enough to take time out of your busy lives, in spite of all that is going on in this world around us today, to write and ask that he be released,” the statement reads. “It is with much sincere gratitude that we can tell you all today your efforts have paid off! Joe has called this very day to let us know that the day has finally come. For the first time  in two years he is able to simply look out of a window into the world beyond while being lifted out of hopelessness and desperation by the kindness shown from all of you.”

In addition to the statement, a quote from Joe -- noting that he’s in a real hospital bed with a window -- appears above a photo asking President Donald Trump to pardon the former Oklahoma zookeeper for his crimes.

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Joe is serving time in prison for his role in a failed murder-for-hire plot against his former rival, Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin. The duo’s feud was the subject of the Netflix documentary series that captivated the public at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The good news comes weeks after the Netflix star penned a letter that was obtained by TMZ in which he claimed he wasn’t getting the necessary medical treatment he needed, speculating that he would be dead in “[two to three] months.”

Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix's hit docuseries 'Tiger King,' has been released from solitary confinement after going on lockdown due to the coronavirus.

Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix's hit docuseries 'Tiger King,' has been released from solitary confinement after going on lockdown due to the coronavirus. (Netflix)

“I struggle everyday [sic] to hold on to what little hope I can find, they keep me locked down 24/7 with no phone, email or commissary and you will never understand the mental abuse this does to a person," he wrote at the time.

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Now, it seems he's content to simply look out a window and wait for the remainder of his sentence. However, he's clearly not given up on imploring Trump to issue him a pardon.