Photo: Facebook

About Dillon Jacob Passage
Age28 Years
BirthAugust 22, 1995
SpouseJoe Maldonado-Passage (Joe Exotic) December 2017 - Present
ParentsTina Cook McGehee
AddressWestern Florida
CountryUnited States
HometownBelton, Texas

Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness highlights the wild persona that is Joe Exotic. Feuding with animal rights groups, plotting Carole Baskin’s murder, running for president, operating a private zoo, self-styling himself as a country music and reality series star, and living as a polygamist barely describes Joe Exotic. As he serves his sentence in federal prison, Netflix viewers are curious to know about his husbands, particularly his latest one, Dillon Passage. Although John Finlay features prominently in the docuseries, Passage is not involved as much. To sate your curiosity about Joe Exotic’s husband, we’ve got Dillon Passage’s wiki right here.

(Editor’s Note: The information in this article has been modified after Dillon Passage’s Recent Interview with Variety)

Dillon Passage Married Joe Exotic in 2017

Dillon Jacob Passage was born on August 22, 1995 to Tina Cook McGehee. The Texas native came from Austin to Wynewood, Oklahoma, where Joe Exotic had his private zoo.

Joe Exotic was going through a tough phase with his beloved zoo. He was clashing with his business partner, Jeff Lowe, and his rival, Carole Baskin, had been hounding him to collect the $1.0 million trademark infringement settlement.

Me and Dillon in San Antonio! !

Posted by Tina Cook Mcgehee on Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tiger King’s previous husband, Travis Maldonado (whom he legally married after John Finlay left following their informal three-way ceremony) had died in October 2017 from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot. Joe Exotic was becoming increasingly disillusioned with his zoo and unhinged with grief.

He had reportedly enlisted his employees at the zoo to look for his next prospective husband on Grindr and Twitter. It was then that he met Dillon Passage, who was sleeping at his cousin’s in Oklahoma.

In a recent interview, Passage recounted the night he met Joe at the big cat breeder’s Safari Bar not far from the zoo. Joe serenaded him with his song, “This Old Town” before inviting him back to the zoo. A cat lover, Passage enjoyed playing with the tiger cubs.

Passage returned to the zoo the following evening. Joe, who was running for Oklahoma governor then, took him to a Christmas parade. After that Passage began living with him at the zoo.

Passage admitted he was in a difficult phase at that time owing to an addiction to prescription pills like Xanax.  “Joe helped me get healthy again, get me in the right mental state,” he said. “I felt alone. I felt like there was going to be nobody there for me. Joe made me feel like there was reason to be alive.”

Joe was looking for a hitman to kill Carole Baskin and got scammed by one of his zoo employees in the attempt. His business associate James Garretson introduced him to a federal agent disguised as a hitman.

In the meeting, Joe promised to pay the fake hitman later. Money was never exchanged.

Joe married the then-22-year-old Dillon Passage on December 11, 2017, three days after the meeting the fake hitman. Joe and Dillon had acquired their marriage license on December 5.

Joe, who was born Joseph Schreibvogel, would take on the last names of both of his legal husbands. He currently goes by Joe Maldonado-Passage.

Also Read: Facts About Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband, Don Lewis

Joe Exotic Went to Florida with Passage

Maldonado-Passage’s feud with Jeff Lowe came to a head when he found out that Lowe and Passage had an altercation in the parking lot. Having lost his passion for the zoo and wanting to run from his troubles, Joe Exotic packed whatever he could get into a trailer and left for Yukon, Oklahoma with Dillon.

Not having an easy time in Oklahoma, Joe Exotic asked Passage where would he like to live if he had a choice.

Dillon said he’d like to live on the beach. So the couple packed up and moved to Florida. They lived in a motel in Pensacola for a while before shifting to a bedroom community in Gulf Breeze.

Maldonado-Passage had become increasingly paranoid that animal rights activists were out to get him and trying to sabotage his zoo. Even on the run, he was convinced they were being followed. So, he posted cryptic messages on social media to throw his supposed enemies off his trail.

He’d post a photograph of the ocean in Florida and mention California in the caption. He’d post another picture of Passage with the hashtags, “#belize #Mexico #gay #gayboy #carabianbeach.” [sic]

The Tiger King took up odd jobs, washing dishes at a seafood joint during the day and bartending for a catering business at night. He was looking to apply at a hospital for a third job, when he was arrested on September 7, 2018. The charges were plotting the murder of Carole Baskin and committing federal wildlife violations.

Dillon Passage was not arrested or charged.

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Passage Returned to Texas

Joe Exotic was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for murder-for-hire and wildlife violation charges. It’s unclear if Dillon Passage was involved in his husband’s trial.

According to one report, Passage returned to his home state of Texas. There are no records of a divorce and they are still married.

Passage reiterated that he is still married to Joe and keeps in contact with him. He said that Joe is enjoying the attention, including the memes, from the Netflix docuseries.

After their last phonecall, Joe was moved to a federal prison in Texas and is currently isolated in a prison medical facility for a COVID-19 quarantine. But Passage said he hasn’t been informed if Joe has tested positive.

During his trial in 2019, Joe admitted he had been negotiating with filmmakers and producers, including a representative from Netflix, to make documentaries on his life. But he claimed that he wouldn’t get a dime from the deals. The money and royalties from the documentaries would go to Dillon.

Also Read: What Happened to “Tiger King” Joe Exotic’s Knee?

Passage is active on Instagram and appears to be having the time of his life with his friends. Passage currently lives in Western Florida and works as a bartender. He’s on a break from work now because of business closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of his posts are about a tiger cub, Godiva, and other animals. Long before he met Joe, Passage has shown his love for cats on Instagram.

Since Tiger King premiered on March 20, Passage’s Instagram has been flooded with curious fans. In response to an Instagram user speculating that he and Joe Exotic have split, Passage commented “I’m still married to joe but my social media platform isn’t used for any joe things. Thank you though.”

In response to another comment about his wedding ring, Passage said that he was wearing it in his other hand out of the shot.

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His mother, Tina, married one Michael McGehee in 2008. Dillon celebrated her graduation from nursing school in 2019.

Also Read: Joe Exotic Net Worth, How Did the “Tiger King” Make His Fortune?

Passage Was a Cheerleader & Hung Out with Navarro Cheer

In recent days, social media has gone wild with the apparent connection between Tiger King and the recent Netflix runaway hit, Cheer. And it’s Dillon Passage who is the one that connects the moving coming-of-age documentary to the insane docuseries his husband is the subject of.

As a teen, Passage was part of a cheer squad and performed competitively with a squad. It appears that he attended Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and performed with the Jacks squad. It’s unclear if he has graduated or when he was at SFASU.

An SFASU alumni and cheerleader shared pictures of performers from different squads at a 2015 Showoff at SFASU. Passage met the performers from Navarro and probably the Cheer Queen, Coach Monica herself, at the event. Unfortunately, he didn’t share the mat with any of the performers we see on Cheer.

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