A marriage can hit a rough patch when one of the spouses is behind bars, and that appears to be the case with “Tiger King” subject Joe Exotic and husband Dillon Passage.
On March 1, Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado Passage — took to Twitter to call out his husband, along with his manager, Jeff Duncan, and nemesis Carole Baskin.
— Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) March 2, 2021
A few days later, Dillon Passage responded in a lengthy Instagram post.
According to Passage, he and Exotic, “like everyone in any relationship, go through their ups and downs. This is magnified by the fact that our relationship is very public and the fact that one of his only outlets is social media. Unfortunately it isn’t the healthiest place to deal with personal affairs and not how I normally handle my relationship challenges. Joe is obviously having a difficult time in prison and I don’t think any of us can fault him for that. I’ve never spoken poorly of Joe, through the ups and the downs and through his good and his bad. I see through all of this and recognize and realize it for what it is; a man in prison just trying to do his best.”
As he explained, when the presidential pardon from Donald Trump didn’t come through, “our hopes were dashed. I remain in support of Joe and want to be there for him. At 25, I also need to make sure I’m healthy, both body and mind. I know even though Joe may rant, he wants the best for me as I do for him. I am certain he wants me to lead a full life as all of you do for the people you love.”
He admitted that sharing his thoughts on social media “is not natural to me, and if I’m quiet it’s usually because I’m working through all of this and processing to the best of my ability. I didn’t and don’t want the spotlight. I’ve been thrown into this and just doing my best to support Joe, live my life, and love my dogs.”
He signed off by asking people to be “gentle” in how they behave on social media, because “you never know the challenges they are dealing with and the hardships they carry. There is always a hidden struggle for all of us.”
Duncan responded with a comment, thanking Passage for sharing his feelings. “No one knows what you’ve had to deal with in all of this,” Duncan wrote. “Appreciate you plenty ❤️.”