It appears Joe Exotic won’t be married much longer.
The controversial star of Netflix‘s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — and his husband Dillon Passage are “seeking a divorce,” Passage revealed on Instagram on Friday.
“In November of 2017 I met Joe who was there for me during a difficult time in my life. After just 9 short months he was arrested and, for the last two and a half years, we have been apart,” Passage began. “I’ve always stood by his side and will continue to always love and support him.”
“Tiger King” hit Netflix just over a year ago on March 20, 2020. The series was an instant smash hit — credited in part to the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic keeping people at home in front of the television.
Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage, left, and Dillon Passage are ‘seeking a divorce.’ (Netflix)
Maldonado-Passage and his former staff members became overnight sensations shortly after the self-proclaimed “Tiger King” was arrested after being found guilty of participating in a murder-for-hire plot against his nemesis and fellow large cat enthusiast, Carole Baskin.
Though he had a limited role in the show, Passage said that with the premiere of “Tiger King,” his life “was thrown into a world of media and public attention.”
He called the increased attention “completely foreign” and compared it to a “microscope constantly looming over” him, which has continued to make him “uncomfortable.”
He added that he’s leaned on his manager, Jeff Duncan, to help him navigate the situation.
“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,” Passage continued. “I therefore don’t intend to post any more on this subject. To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce.”
Joe ‘Exotic’ Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being found guilty of participating in a murder-for-hire plot.
(Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)
As many divorcing celebrity couples do, Passage said that choosing to split “wasn’t an easy decision,” but that he and his husband “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,” he said. “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.”
He began to wrap things up by warning followers not to make assumptions about others who may be carrying “a challenge or burden you may not see.”
“This is as true for me as it may be for you,” he finished.