Skip to main content

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Caged and Isolated Due to Coronavirus Concerns


Joe Maldonado-Passage

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, better known as Joe Exotic, and subject of the almost pseudonymous Netflix phenom Tiger King, is isolated in a federal penitentiary due to concerns over potentially contracting the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

News of the Coronavirus-influenced regime for Exotic comes by way of his husband, Dillon Passage, who spoke with SiriusXM host Andy Cohen during a Wednesday appearance on his Radio Andy show.

“How often are you in touch with him?” Cohen asked.

“We speak like three to five times every day, but since he’s been moved to this new facility, they are putting him on, like, a COVID-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases,” Passage replied. “So, I have yet to speak to him since he moved.”

“Joe Exotic–Joe Exotic is in his own COVID-19 quarantine right now?” a somewhat shocked-sounding Cohen inquired.

“From what I know, yes,” Passage said.

“From what you know,” Cohen pressed.

“From what he told me,” Passage confirmed.

It’s currently unclear when, exactly, Exotic was placed into his own Coronavirus quarantine–but it appears to have preceded a late Wednesday order by the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) prescribing a general quarantine system for federal prisoners who are remaining in federal facilities amidst the ongoing public health calamity.

“For a 14-day period, inmates in every institution will be secured in their assigned cells/quarters to decrease the spread of the virus,” the BOP’s COVID-19 Action Plan notes. “This modification to our action plan is based on health concerns, not disruptive inmate behavior.”

Exotic is currently serving a 22-year sentence after being found guilty of myriad animal-related violations and for charges related to an alleged murder-for-hire plot that is believed to have targeted Exotic’s arch-nemesis, Carole Baskin, who currently runs the Big Cat Rescue park in Citrus, Florida.

Exotic, unusually for defendants, but not for himself, testified in his own defense at his federal trial and has consistently maintained his innocence–taking particular opprobrium at the suggestion that he seriously made efforts to have Baskin taken out by a paid and peripatetic hitman named Allen Glover.

In fact, Exotic maintains that Glover and his friend, Jeff Lowe, manufactured the plot in an effort to frame him up on the charges so that Lowe could take full possession of the Oklahoma-based big cat-breeding park and zoo that Exotic spent decades building.

During the full interview, Cohen and Passage also discuss how the couple met on Grindr, Passage’s family’s reaction to his marriage with the newly-crowned Netflix superstar (initially they were suspect), Passage’s own past drug use and recovery (no more addiction or hard drug use; occasional alcohol and marijuana use), his thoughts on the Netflix documentary (he likes it and thinks it’s true to the entire story line), and much more.

Passage also revealed that he signed a prenuptial agreement with Joe and still communicates with him frequently.

“I do love Joe,” Passage told Cohen. “He’s been there for me through my darkest times. I’m not just gonna skip out and abandon him when he needs me most.”

Listen to the full interview below:

[image via screengrab/Netflix]

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow Law&Crime: