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Dillon Passage Says Joe Exotic Is ‘Stretching The Truth For Personal Gain’ Amid Divorce Proceedings

Home / Stars / Dillon Passage Says Joe Exotic Is ‘Stretching The Truth For Personal Gain’ Amid Divorce Proceedings

By Kristin Myers on April 5, 2022 at 9:00 AM EDT

It seems that “Tiger King” Joe Exotic has met another man that he wants to marry. He married Dillon Passage, 25, in December 2017, not even two months after his previous husband, Travis Maldonado, accidentally shot himself in the head.

Exotic, 59, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was imprisoned in January 2020, Maldonado-Passage had been sentenced to 22 years behind bars for trying to hire two different men to kill Big Cat Rescue CEO and “Tiger King” nemesis Carole Baskin.

Exotic is looking to divorce Dillon in order to marry his new lover, John Graham, who he met behind bars. Graham was released last month after serving his sentence.

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Joe Exotic Reportedly Wrote 'It will be a cold day in h--- before I sign these papers' Amid Dillon Passage Divorce

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On Monday, Dillon’s attorneys, Chris Kirker and Holly Davis of Kirker Davis LLP, released a statement that disputed claims that Joe had made in last week’s court filing.

The documents, which were obtained by PEOPLE, allege that Dillon “failed to serve his husband and did not follow through with obtaining a divorce through the legal system.”

Now, Dillon’s attorneys are alleging that Joe is “well known for stretching the truth for personal gain, so we are unsurprised to find him doing the same in his divorce case against our client.”

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Dillon’s attorneys said that “Despite Joe's false claim that Dillon did not attempt to obtain a divorce through legal means, the Kirker Davis Law Firm presented a full and comprehensive settlement agreement to Joe's lawyer, Francisco Hernandez, on September 3, 2021.”

“On September 8, 2021, at 4:59 p.m. CST, our office received an email from Joe that said, 'It will be a cold day in h--- before I sign these papers' and 'Your out of your f—n mind' (sic),” the statement alleges.

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The statement continues, “Given this response and Joe's revelation shortly after that date that he was fighting cancer, Dillon paused pursuing litigation out of respect for Joe's health crisis. Our firm always urges clients to take the high road, and we applauded his compassionate decision. But Dillon now feels compelled to counter the untrue statements that Joe is making publicly.”

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They added that “Dillon is eager to efficiently finalize the divorce agreement he proposed in September of 2021.”

An attorney for Joe Exotic told that outlet that “We still have heard nothing from his lawyers or Mr. Passage, but I'm glad he's ready to move forward. My office number is on the pleadings, let's roll!” Joe's attorney added, “A legal case was never and therefore no legal remedy was actually pursued by Mr. Passage.”

In another document, Joe requested alimony and stated that his marriage was “irretrievably broken.” He also asked for Dillon to remove his surname and hoped that “they can both move on with their lives and divorce quickly and amicably.”

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Dillon Passage & Joe Exotic Have Both Moved On To New Partners

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Dillon revealed that he was seeking a divorce from Joe Exotic in March 2021.

“To answer the main question the public wants to know, yes, Joe and I are seeking a divorce,” he captioned the post. “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,” he continued. “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.”

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In July 2021, he showed off his new boyfriend, who is also named John. He posted a few snaps of them side by side, including in the pool, lying in bed, beside a lake, and at the gym.

“Everyone, meet John 👋 I’ve planned on keeping my relationship private for personal reasons but lately I’ve been having a hard time dealing with things happening in my life and John has been my rock and helping me get through it all,” he wrote. “In short, this is an appreciation post for this special special man. Thank you for being you ❤️”

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