Joe Exotic and husband Dillon Passage to divorce: ‘This wasn’t an easy decision to make’

Joe Exotic and Dillon Passage

Joe Exotic’s husband Dillon Passage has announced that he and the Tiger King have filed for divorce.

Passage, 24, stayed faithful to his 58-year-old husband even after Exotic was jailed for a multitude of animal abuses and a plot to kill his nemesis Carole Baskin.

But a year after Netflix’s smash hit Tiger King and with no presidential pardon on the horizon, Passage confirmed that they are now seeking a separation.

“To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce,” he wrote on Instagram.

“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.

“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.

“Like I said in my last post, be careful of the assumptions you place on others. Everyone carries a challenge or burden you may not see. This is as true for me as it may be for you.”

The bartender added that he has always stood by Joe’s side and “will continue to always love and support him”, but admitted he is struggling with the attention and scrutiny that came with the documentary.

“When Tiger King was released on Netflix a year ago, my life was thrown into a world of media and public attention, something that was completely foreign to me,” he said.

“I felt as if I had a microscope constantly looming over me which was and still is incredibly uncomfortable.

“I don’t feel obligated to explain to the world what occurs in my personal life and, despite Joe taking to social media to air every grievance, I don’t feel it’s the healthiest way to handle private matters between two people. I therefore don’t intend to post any more on this subject.”


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Joe Exotic’s lawyer, John Phillips, said on Twitter that their law firm is reviewing options with him regarding separation and divorce.

“Our firm is reviewing options with our client, Joe Maldonado Passage, regarding separation and divorce,” he said. “We have no comment at this time and request privacy.

“Joe is simultaneously dealing with medical issues, civil rights violations and the appeal of his conviction,” the statement continued.

“The world has come to know Joe as the bigger than life ‘Tiger King’, but right now he is dealing with the very real hardships and injustices within our criminal justice systems and how it destroys all things a person on the outside holds dear.”

Joe Exotic’s story is due to be explored further in an upcoming BBC documentary with Louis Theroux on 5 April.