Tiger King's Dillon Passage Says His Marriage To Joe Exotic Is Still Going Strong And He's Looking Forward To Conjugal Visits
Tiger King star Dillon Passage hasn’t been able to touch his husband, Joe Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic), since police arrested Exotic two years ago. He's been sitting in jail ever since, and a jury recently found Exotic guilty of 19 different charges that ranged from participating in a murder-for-hire plot to animal abuse. Now, Exotic is serving a 22-year prison sentence.
Passage recently told Us Weekly that he is looking forward to conjugal visits with Exotic, 57, and he believes they will start taking place “within the next month.” The 24-year-old Passage explained that after his husband’s arrest, Exotic was being held at Grady County Jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma.
Exotic remained at that facility during his trial and was transferred to FMC Fort Worth in Texas after he received his sentence. However, Grady County Jail didn’t allow conjugal visits, so Passage and Exotic had to keep their distance during visitation.
The odd thing is that the Federal Bureau of Prisons doesn’t allow conjugal visits, either, so it’s not clear why Passage believes that’s going to happen. Still, he says it is something that he is looking forward to.
“You know, I miss Joe and it sucks not being able to touch him,” Passage said. “But still being able to talk to him, you know, that’s really what has kept us going strong.”
Passage is holding onto hope that Exotic could get pardoned, but he says the focus now is getting his husband’s sentence reduced if he’s not released immediately.
The Tiger King star also recalled the last day he had with Exotic, which was the day police unexpectedly arrested the big cat enthusiast. Passage says that they woke up and had breakfast, and Exotic talked about his plans to put in a resume at a hospital while playing with the dogs.
“It was kind of early in the afternoon. I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go to the gym.’ So, I’m at the gym and I get the call,” recalled Passage. “And he’s like, ‘Oh, I’m in the back of a police car right now, a U.S. Marshal.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, well that’s weird. You know, like, why?’ And he’s like, ‘They won’t tell me.'”
Dillon Passage says that he was “completely mind-blown” by his husband’s arrest, and he had no idea that Exotic was caught up in a murder-for-hire plot against his rival, Carole Baskin. However, Passage says that he’s not going anywhere and will continue to support his husband.
“Joe was there for me in my darkest moments. I’m not going to just abandon him when he needs support more than anything,” said Passage.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness and the special after show Tiger King and I - hosted by Joel McHale - are currently streaming on Netflix.