Dillon Passage has announced the couple is no more in a lengthy post on Instagram, explaining his world was turned upside down just nine months after their December, 2017 wedding, when tiger breeder Exotic was arrested and subsequently jailed for 22 years for his role in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his rival, animal rights activist Carole Baskin, as well as various wildlife violations.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, the 2020 Netflix docuseries which chronicled the true crime story, further threw Passage’s life into disarray, and after Exotic failed to secure a pardon from former U.S. President Donald Trump, he has decided it’s time to move on.
Admitting he still finds the unwanted fame “incredibly uncomfortable”, Passage explains he won’t be sharing much more about his private life on social media, but confirms he and Exotic are separating.
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make but Joe and I both understand that this situation isn’t fair to either of us,” he wrote. “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.”
Passage also insisted he “will continue to always love and support” Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado.
Despite Passage’s comments suggesting the split is amicable, Exotic’s attorney, Francisco Hernandez, tells TMZ his client is distraught after Passage broke the news of his divorce plans to him in a prison phone call.
Passage is Exotic’s second husband – they tied the knot just two months after his first spouse, Travis Maldonado, shot himself in a fatal accident.