Joe Exotic speaks out after husband Dillon Passage's DWI arrest

Suzy Byrne
·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Joe Exotic’s husband, Dillon Passage, has been arrested for DWI — and the imprisoned Tiger King star is speaking out about it.

Passage, 25, was arrested at 3 a.m. on Sunday in Manor, Tex., on charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, court documents show. He remains in custody — at the Travis County Jail in Austin — at press time.

Joe Exotic and husband Dillon Passage. (Photo: Joe Exotic via Instagram)
Joe Exotic and husband Dillon Passage. (Photo: Joe Exotic via Instagram)

The arrest led 57-year-old Exotic (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage) to speak out from Federal Medical Center, Fort Worth, where he’s serving a 22-year sentence after being convicted of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot to kill his Big Cat Rescue nemesis Carole Baskin, as outlined in the Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

”In regards to Dillon's recent troubles, I am just glad that no one was hurt learning such a lesson that drinking and driving is something to take very seriously,” Exotic wrote, along with a photo of them together. “I love my husband and will be there for him, just as he has been for me. If we all learn something from this, it is not ok to be irresponsible and drink and drive.”

He ended by asking the media to report that the “flawed” legal system is to blame for his husband’s arrest because his own incarceration, which he has been fighting and hopes to be pardoned for by President Trump, “not only affects the person’s life, but it also affects that person’s entire family. Alcohol was not a problem for Dillon when I was home.” (Records show Passage was also arrested in 2017 for resisting arrest.)

He ended his post with the hashtags, “Free Joe Exotic,” “Pardon Joe Exotic” and “Help Free Joe.”

Exotic and Passage were married in Dec 2017 — two months after Exotic's previous husband, Travis Maldonado, accidentally shot himself and died.

Passage told Entertainment Tonight earlier this year that he was in a "really dark place" — battling depression and drug addiction at age 22 — when he met Exotic during the filming of Tiger King. He said Exotic "brought me out of my depression and made me feel like I was wanted. He was like the shining light that kept me out of that."

Dillon also said Exotic would “support” him pursing another relationship.

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