Joe Exotic's husband Dillon Passage is speaking out for the first time since the debut of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Speaking with Variety Live! on Tuesday, Passage, Exotic's fourth husband, called the popular docuseries "very authentic" and stood by his statements that he was unaware of the murder-for-hire plot that landed Exotic in jail. Calling the case "complicated," he added that he believed his husband didn't receive a fair trial.
"He's, honest to God, a really good man and he has good beliefs," Passage said. "When people need help, he's the first person that they call and he doesn't hesitate to say yes. He's bailed so many people out of jail, he's gotten them vehicles. He has fed them when they had no food. I'd come home all the time and people would be raiding our fridge."
As fans of the series know, the murder-for-hire plot landed Exotic a 22-year jail sentence after he was convicted of 17 counts of animal cruelty and conspiring to have Carole Baskin killed. While the sentence means a long wait for the married couple to reunite, Passage said that he's sticking by his husband's side.
"We are still married," Passage confirmed. "I wasn't just going to abandon him when he needed help because he was there for me. I felt it was only right to stand by him and not judge him for the circumstance because I understood his relationship with Carole. It was a very negative kind of thing and he was in a dark place when all of this stuff occurred. He just needed support so I was just going to stand next to him."
Currently living in Florida, where he bartends, Passage said that if his husband were released from prison tomorrow, he would "go pick him up and he'd come live with me where I'm at [because] this is our house and I have our dog. And I think his main goal would be to get his animals back because it was his dream and his brother's dream to have the zoo and to do something."
Passage said that he and Exotic communicate frequently, and that during their last conversation, which occurred just before Exotic was transferred from Oklahoma's Grady County Jail to a federal prison in Texas, Exotic was aware of his newfound fame.
"He had received hundreds and hundreds of emails, and he was spending all day on the computer just going through these emails and trying to respond to them. He had people from all over the world saying like, 'Team Joe' [and] 'Free Joe,'" he revealed. "He was really excited. I would talk to him about some of the memes that were made and he just laughed his butt off. It was hilarious. He loved it. … He loves the attention, obviously, so any fame or spotlight that he has had was greatly appreciated."
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is currently available for streaming on Netflix.