March 28 (UPI) — Dillon Passage has announced on Instagram that he is divorcing his former “Tiger King” co-star, Joe Exotic Maldonado.
Exotic was arrested shortly after they were married in 2017, keeping the husbands separated for the past several years.
“To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce,” Passage, 25, wrote on Instagram on Friday.
“This wasn’t an easy decision to make but Joe and I both 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. 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.”
Maldonado’s attorney, John Phillips, confirmed the split to People.com.
“Our firm is reviewing options with our client, Joe Maldonado Passage, regarding separation and divorce. We have no comment at this time and request privacy,” Phillips said.
“Joe is simultaneously dealing with medical issues, civil rights violations and the appeal of his conviction. The world has come to know Joe Exotic as the bigger than life ‘Tiger King,’ but right now he is dealing with the very real hardships and injustices within our criminal justice systems and how it destroys all things a person on the outside holds dear.”
Maldonado, 58, is a former Oklahoma zookeeper sentenced to 22 years in prison in January 2020 after he was convicted of several crimes, including a murder-for-hire plot to kill a rival animal-rights activist.
He and Passage starred in “Tiger King,” a Netflix docu-series, that became a pop culture phenomenon as people were confined to their homes during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last spring.