“Here’s a little Monday memory for y’all. #TigerKing #WayTooPrettyForPrison,” the 36-year-old captioned the series of pictures with the controversial zookeeper, 57, on Monday, April 13.
In the photos, Miranda stood with her arms around Joe (real name: Joseph Maldonado-Passage) and one of his husbands John Finlay. Fan favorite Kelci “Saff” Saffery could also be spotted in the group picture. The Tiger King, of course, sported his signature look to meet the “Little Red Wagon” singer — knee brace, leather jacket and all.
In the comments, fans were blown away to see the songstress with the overnight celebrity. “OMG! You hung out with Joe!” one user wrote. “I LOVE YOU 1000x more than I ever thought possible right now!” another added.
While some found humor in Miranda’s throwback pictures with the wannabe country star, others were disappointed to see her associating with the convicted felon. “I wouldn’t be bragging about Tiger King. Have you seen hidden videos of him punching tigers in the face? Shame on anyone who is in his corner,” one commented. “Did you know how badly those animals were being treated?” another reiterated.
The “I Saw a Tiger” singer is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison. In September 2018, he was arrested for his connection in a murder-for-hire plot. He allegedly paid $3,000 in exchange for the death of his rival Carole Baskin. In April 2019, he was found guilty of 21 counts, including two counts related to the murder-for-hire plot. He was also charged with serval counts of animal abuse such as breeding and selling tigers without a permit.
While behind bars, Maldonado-Passage has maintained his innocence and filed a lawsuit against the FBI on March 17. He is seeking $94 million from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and others associated with the case, according to court documents obtained by In Touch. He issued a call for a pardon from President Trump on March 19 in a statement shared on Facebook. “This lawsuit has been filed in the name of justice. The Trump Administration must be made aware of the overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the oath of their position which is truth and justice for all.”
Despite pleading his innocence, Robert Moor, a journalist who covered Joe’s story, claimed he is guilty. “We shouldn’t forget that the greatest victims of all are the thousands of tigers trapped in cages and the many tigers that Joe Exotic shot in the head over the years,” Moor exclusively told In Touch on March 31. “If they were just old and not a productive or profitable tiger, he would kill it. That’s something he was doing.”
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