Who were Joe Exotic’s five husbands and what happened to them?

JOE Exotic has been a cult figure since Netflix first dropped their bizarre-but-brilliant docuseries Tiger King just over a year ago.

He is the subject of yet another documentary courtesy of Louis Theroux, titled ‘Shooting: Joe Exotic’. But how many times did he get married and what exactly happened to the jailed tiger breeder’s former flames? We have the full scoop…

 Joseph Maldonado-Passage got married four times, to five different men

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Joseph Maldonado-Passage got married four times, to five different menCredit: Netflix

How many times did Joe Exotic get married?

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, 58, is more famously known as the Tiger King – a subject of Netflix’s hit docuseries.

Throughout the seven-part docu-series, viewers were shown the colourful lives and personalities of owners of private zoos.

But Joe Exotic stands out due to his story of becoming a private zoo owner due to his love of big cats, to then turning into a would-be murderer and being sentenced to life in prison.

However, the openly-gay convict’s love life also has viewers shocked thanks to his multiple marriages.

The self-described “gay, gun-toting cowboy with a mullet” went through a string of husbands in his lifetime, though not all of them were legitimate, thanks to gay marriage not being legal until recently.

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Though Joe got married four times, he actually tied the knot to five different men.

 In 2014, Joe got married to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado in a three-way ceremony

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In 2014, Joe got married to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado in a three-way ceremonyCredit: Netflix

Brian Rhyne

New York magazine claims Joe met Brain back in the 1980s when he was working as a security guard at gay cowboy bar in Texas.

Brian was 19 at the time, but he soon moved into Joe’s trailer in a Texan city called Arlington and they became parents to several poodles.

They also had matching mullets, horseshoe mustaches and outfits.

The pair were married at the bar they met at called the Round-Up Saloon, but it was long before same-sex marriages were legal in the state.

They eventually opened a pet store, and then an animal sanctuary, together with Exotic’s brother Garold.

While Brain was there with Joe at the opening of the zoo, he eventually passed away in 2001 due to complications from HIV.

JC Hartpence

Months after Brian passed away, Joe met JC and the pair quickly got into a relationship.

However the romance was very volatile, with Joe claiming that JC once held a gun to his head during a fight.

The pair reportedly got married, but gay marriage was still not legal at the time.

JC eventually went to prison for murder soon after his relationship with Joe came to an end and is serving a life sentence.

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 John Finlay later married a woman and had a child

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John Finlay later married a woman and had a childCredit: Netflix

John Finlay and Travis Maldonado

Joe was technically still with JC when he first met John Finlay.

The then 19-year-old came to work at Exotic’s Zoo and the relationship was another fiery romance – NY Mag claims he once sent Joe to the hospital after throwing him into a wall.

Joe and John decided to open up their relationship and soon formed a throuple with a young worker at the farm named Travis Maldonado (who was a meth addict).

Their 2014 ceremony features in the documentary, but things didn’t work out for long.

John wanted out of the relationship and eventually left when he got a female worker at the animal pregnant.

Meanwhile, Travis tragically passed away in 2017 after he accidentally shot himself at the zoo’s gift shop.

At the time, Joe was running for Oklahoma governor and had to make a press conference about the death.

The full details, and resulting impact on Joe, are shown in episode five of the docu-series.

Dillon Passage

Just two months after Travis died, Joe married Dillon in 2017.

The pair met online and Dillon had been sleeping on an airbed in his cousin’s house when they first met.

Joe and Dillon chose to move to Gulf Breeze, Florida together, where Joe got a job washing dishes at a pirate-themed seafood restaurant.

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Joe was anxious about being followed and posted a series of Instagram posts from “California,” “Belize,” and “Mexico,” which were actually posted from Florida.

But in 2018, he was arrested and went to trail for his many criminal offences.

Joe was sentenced to 22 years in prison in early 2020.

On March 26, 2021, Dillon announced on Instagram that he and Joe were “seeking a divorce.”

Joe is said to be heartbroken over the break-up, his lawyer Francisco Hernandez told TMZ.

Dillon, meanwhile, has said the decision to split wasn’t easy and insisted their was no bad blood between the pair, pledging to support him throughout the remainder of his sentence.

 

Where is Joe Exotic now?

After receiving a 22-year prison sentence, Joe Exotic was sent to serve his time in a Federal Prison.

Joe Exotic is currently at the Fort Worth prison where he is serving his sentence.

At the time of sentencing, he was 56 years-old, so it is likely he will be let out at almost 80 years of age.

Up to this day, Joe still protests his innocence for the crimes and in a recent statement said: “I still maintain my innocence and look forward in the upcoming days to my attorneys filing my appeal and moving on to the next step in this nightmare.”

Netflix Tiger King trailer tells shocking true story of zookeeper Joe Exotic


View more information: https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/585329/joe-exotic-tiger-king-husbands/

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