The truth about Joe Exotic’s husband Dillon Passage

Dillon Passage, the fifth husband of Joe “Exotic” Maldonado-Passage, aka the star of Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, has captivated viewers. And it’s easy to see why the 24-year-old is garnering a lot of attention, as he legally married Joe in 2017, just months after the controversial zookeeper’s fourth husband, Travis Maldonado, died in a tragic accident. Then there’s the issue of Passage declaring to stand by Joe’s side while he serves a 22-year prison sentence for wildlife violations and an alleged murder-for-hire plot. 

Now that Passage is on the interview circuit, chatting with news outlets and various celebrities like Andy Cohen, interest in his background is at an all-time high. “My life wasn’t supposed to be put on blast kind of, I wasn’t prepared for that,” he told Cohen during an episode of SiriusXM’s Radio Andy about adjusting to the spotlight. 

Whether Passage likes it or not, viewers are itching to learn more about his background, including how he met Joe and what attracted him to the former owner of Oklahoma’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. We answer those questions and more after the jump.

Dillon Passage admits he "jumped the gun" with Joe Exotic

As Dillon Passage explained to Andy Cohen, he met Joe Exotic on the dating app Grindr, and after being wooed by the convict during a night of karaoke, they married “a little over two weeks” later. When Cohen joked that their dating timeline was a tad  “aggressive,” Passage admitted, “We definitely jumped the gun, I can say that. But I’m not ashamed of it whatsoever.”

Interestingly enough, Passage’s family accepted Joe, despite the 33-year age difference. Their chill attitude about the romance might have had to do with the zookeeper’s influence on the 20-something, as he explained to Cohen, ” … I was in a really bad place when I met Joe. I was just going through a lot of things, I was an addict. Being around the animals gave me a purpose. It felt like I was actually doing something with my life.” He added, “It brought me out of my depression. It was like my own little rehab.”

Now that the Florida resident is unable to be with Joe in person, he’s seemingly focused on spending time with friends and bartending. “Y’all have been by my side since day 1, no judgments, just love and support,” he captioned one Instagram shot with his pals.

Despite the bartender’s seemingly fun life, he has a lot on his mind, including Joe Exotic being quarantined in prison amid coronavirus concerns.

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