Tiger King star Joe Exotic’s husband says they are ‘seeking a divorce’

Dillon Passage married the zookeeper before he was jailed for trying to have a rival murdered.
Tiger King star Joe Exotic’s husband says they are ‘seeking a divorce’

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

The husband of Tiger King star Joe Exotic said he and the jailed zookeeper are “seeking a divorce”.

Dillon Passage tied the knot with Exotic, 58, in December 2017, before he was arrested on charges of animal abuse and orchestrating a murder-for-hire plot against a rival.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is serving a 22-year federal prison sentence for trying to have Big Cat Rescue CEO Carole Baskin killed.

His downfall featured in Netflix’s wildly popular docuseries Tiger King, which premiered in March last year.

Passage announced on Instagram he has split from Exotic but promised to “always love and support him”.

After describing being thrust into the spotlight due to Tiger King as “incredibly uncomfortable,” he said: “To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce.

“This wasn’t an easy decision to make but Joe and I both understand that this situation isn’t fair to either of us. It’s something that neither of us were expecting but we are going to take it day by day.

Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic shot to fame after his downfall featured in Netflix docuseries Tiger King (Netflix/PA)

“We are on good terms still and I hope it can stay that way. I will continue to have Joe in my life and do my best to support him while he undergoes further legal battles to better his situation.”

Exotic and Passage’s wedding came two months after the death of Travis Maldonado, the former’s previous husband. He accidentally shot himself.

In January Exotic, who presided over big cats at a zoo in Oklahoma before he was jailed, was omitted from a list of pardons by outgoing president Donald Trump.

His legal team had been confident of securing his release after launching a high-profile campaign to capture Mr Trump’s attention.

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