Who is Dillon Passage? He’s now the estranged husband of Joe Exotic, whom fans came to know on the viral Netflix docuseries ‘Tiger King.’ Learn more about the divorce and Dillon himself.
“To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce,” Dillon Passage announced in an Instagram post on March 26, 2021. Dillon — who was introduced to the world as Joe Exotic‘s husband on Tiger King — wrote that this “wasn’t an easy decision to make,” but they both realize that “this situation isn’t fair to either of us.” Dillon explained that he has been “apart” from Joe “for the last two and a half years.”
Dillon explained that me met Joe (real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage) in Nov. 2017, just nine months before his ex was arrested for an alleged murder-for-hire plot. In Jan. 2020, Joe was sentenced to 22 years in prison on two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. But enough about the controversial former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park — learn more about Dillon:
Dillon Passage Was Featured On Tiger King
This goes without saying, but in case you missed the hit Netflix documentary from 2020, Dillon Passage was featured as Joe Exotic’s husband on the Tiger King docuseries. They tied the knot in Dec. 2017, shortly after meeting one another after had recently arrived in Oklahoma from Texas.
They met at Joe’s Safari Bar (which was located about two miles from his Oklahoma zoo), where Joe serenaded Dillon with his own country song called “This Old Town,” according to Variety. Joe then brought Dillon back to the zoo — he visited the next night, too. “Then I just never left the zoo,” Dillon told Variety.
Dillon revealed that Joe helped him “get healthy again” and get in “the right mental state” while he battled a prescription pill addiction (specifically Xanax), per Variety. “Joe made me feel like there was reason to be alive,” he told the outlet in an interview published in April 2020.
Dillon Passage & Joe Exotic Had A Big Age Difference
Dillon is 25 years old, making him about 33 years younger than his estranged husband. Joe was born in 1963 and is now 58 years old. Dillon was only 22 years old when me met his future husband.
Dillon Passage Still ‘Stood’ By Joe Exotic After His Arrest
Leading up to the divorce announcement, Dillon made it clear that he supported Joe amid the Tiger King star’s many controversies. “I love Joe and I’m standing by him. The photos that I post on here are a highlight reel of my life… What you don’t see are the hours that I’m alone at home, missing my husband and my friend,” Dillon wrote in an Instagram post shared in June of 2020, amid the pandemic.
Dillon also expressed his disappointment when Donald Trump didn’t pardon Joe before leaving the White House in Jan. 2021. “The presidential pardon we were all waiting for never came and our hopes were dashed. I remain in support of Joe and want to be there for him. At 25, I also need to make sure I’m healthy, both body and mind. I know even though Joe may rant, he wants the best for me as I do for him. I am certain he wants me to lead a full life as all of you do for the people you love,” he wrote in a separate Instagram post shared on March 2, 2021.
If You’re Wondering Where Dillon Passage Is Now, He’s Not In Oklahoma
After Joe went to prison, Dillon left the zoo life behind and went on to work as a bartender in Florida. The 25-year-old is often seen hanging out by the water on his Instagram page, where he is still growing used to his immense fan base (123,000 Instagram followers as of March 2021).
“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. I felt as if I had a microscope constantly looming over me which was and still is incredibly uncomfortable,” Dillon admitted in the caption of his divorce announcement in March 2021.
Dillon Passage Briefly Went To College In Texas
Before meeting Joe, there was a period of time where Dillon studied psychology and criminal justice at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.