Film and TV

17 eye-opening things we learned from Andy Cohen’s interview with Joe Exotic’s husband Dillon Passage

Josh Milton April 2, 2020
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Joe Exotic and Dillon Passage

Tiger King stars Joe Exotic (R) and Dillon Passage. (Netflix)

Dillon Passage, a 24-year-old hotel bartender, led a simple life of drinking White Claw cans and lounging around on hammocks in the sun before he met Tiger King star Joe Exotic.

Now he has radio host Andy Cohen asking whether he’s a top or a bottom.

Information around Passage wasn’t too well known about him as, unfortunately, the Netflix docu-series around his husband, for some strange reason, only gives the information about him that’s actually relevant to the story.

But Passage bore all during a candid chat with Cohen on Radio Andy and here are the most eye-opening things we learned from Exotic’s technically fourth husband, from, well, whether he’s a top or bottom, what he loves about Exotic and whether his nipples are still pierced.

This is groundbreaking journalism.

1. Dillion Passage is vers.

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Quarantine got me like…

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In news you simply had to know, so we might as well get straight into it.

Passage said between topping and bottoming, he likes “both equally”.

2. While the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic is, and we quote, a ‘power vers’.

Tiger King stars Joe Exotic (R) and Dillon Passage. (Instagram)
Joe Exotic (R) and Dillon Passage. (Instagram)

For those unfamiliar with the term – self-proclaimed ‘power top’ Cohen included – it’s someone who “enters into both positions with vigour”.

At least, that was a bemused Cohen’s take on the phrase after Passage used it. Passage agreed with the wording.

And now we must all live with this information for the rest of our finite existence on this lump of rock hurtling in the cold, still void of outer space.

3. He met Joe Exotic on Grindr (duh) and the tiger wrangler serenaded him with a… karaoke version of ‘This Old Town’.

Grindr – often implicitly referred to as simply ‘a dating app’ by heterosexual media – is where Exotic and Passage first connected in Oklahoma.

While Tiger King makes out that they first met on the parade, Passage revealed that he and Exotic actually grabbed drinks the night before at the Safari Bar, that Exotic owns.

And a song by Nanci Griffith about a creaky town involving a lot of soup and dust sealed the deal, apparently, probably. Yeah.

4. But Dillon Passage fell for the mullet-wearing, gun-toting, polygamist Tiger King star’s charm.

“He was just super sweet to me,” Passage recounted, “he just came off as very genuine and a good down-to-earth guy.

“He’s very charismatic.”

5. And he’s very much still in love with him and is faithful to him. 

Tiger King (Netflix)

“He’s been with my through my darkest times,” Passage recalled, “and I’m not going to just dip out and abandon him when he needs me most.”

He added: “I’m very loyal to Joe.”

6. Exotic’s fourth husband feels they ‘jumped the gun’ on getting hitched.

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The good place ?

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Two weeks into dating – just two months after the passing of Travis Maldonado – Passage and Exotic were married around December 2017. Passage was 22.

Cohen wondered whether some people would consider the speed of getting wed “aggressive”, and Passage, in part, agreed.

“We definitely jumped the gun, I can say that,” Passage said. “But I’m not ashamed of it whatsoever.”

7. His mum is around the same age as Joe Exotic.

When Passage brought Exotic round his family’s to meet them, his mum was “shocked”.

“She was like, ‘Oh, he’s as old as me, you know, we’re the same age.’

“And I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s just kind of the situation that it is’.”

He added that his loved ones were “cool” and not judgmental about the marriage, and his sister’s family even visited the zoo a few times.

8. When Dillon Passage met Joe Exotic, as seen on Tiger King, he was in a bad place mentally.  

Tiger King stars Joe Exotic (R) and Dillon Passage. (Instagram)
Tiger King stars Joe Exotic (R) and Dillon Passage. (Instagram)

Passage said: “I was in a really bad place in my life when I met Joe […] I was just going through a lot of things, I was an addict [to prescribed narcotics], and being around the animals gave me a purpose.

“I felt like I was doing something with my life.

“It brought me out of my depression. It was my own little rehab.”

9. He’s not a major fan of sadism and masochism.

Exotic is, apparently, “really into S&M”, but it’s a passion not shared by Passage.

“We never actually did anything like that,” he said, leading Cohen to express his disbelief.

“He never asked me to either, but I knew he had done that in previous relationships.”

10. Dillon Passage’s nipples, by the way, are no longer pierced. 

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Nothing better than seeing yourself #progress

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He explained that once the pair were driving around a Walmart, Exotic encouraged Passage to get a nipple piercing.

But he no longer has them. While bartending in Denver, “I had the mixer cups together and they were stuck, so I put it against my chest and I pulled and lip of the cup caught one of the nipple bars and that ripped it clean out.”


11. Despite the fiery feud being central to Tiger King, he never met Carole Baskin.

Carole Baskin Tiger King
Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue. (Netflix)

When Cohen quizzed Passage on his thoughts on Tiger King, he admitted he learnt a great deal about the intense rivalry between the roadside petting zoo owner and the animal rights activist.

Being Exotic’s husband in the turbulent time leading up to his arrest, Passage said he’s never spoken to Carole Baskin and tried his best to “stay out” of Exotic’s “business”.

12. Was Joe Exotic ‘dominant’ in bed?

Dare read on?

‘Joe is Joe, I’m just gonna say that,” Passage said.

13. He implied that he feels that Jeff Lowe did ‘set up’ Joe Exotic for the murder-for-hire crimes.

In the final episodes of Tiger King, Exotic’s long-running anger at Carole Baskin, the animal-rights activist, curdles into a plot to do violence against her.

Exotic wound up in federal prison for trying to hire a hitman to kill Baskin.

Cohen wondered what Passage’s thoughts are on Jeff Lowe’s alleged involvement with the hire: “I’m not gonna say much, but I know it’s not a possible setup, it says 100 per cent true fact that he set him up and even said it on the show.”

14. For the record, fans of Tiger King, Joe Exotic’s ‘Prince Albert’ was not the size of a ‘padlock’.

Yes, yes, the rumour is not true. Repeat, not true.

Passage clarified that Exotic’s penis piercing is not that big, “it wasn’t a very big padlock.”

His first reaction to “it” was: “What the f**k.”

On that note, Passage does not have a “Prince Albert” himself, he refuses to have one done, and made Exotic take his out when they made love.

15. Dillon Passage is attracted to older guys. 


Or, to be exact, guys that are his mother’s age, we guess.

He said, “I think so”, when Cohen asked whether he was always attracted to “older guys”.

16. He said that Travis Maldonado doesn’t ‘necessarily need to be gay’ to be in a relationship with Joe Exotic. 

Passage explained that Maldonado’s sexuality – the subject of great speculation by some viewers – doesn’t have to be confined to categories.

He said he never knew Maldonado personally, but from what he’s heard, “He didn’t need to necessarily need to be gay to have a connection with Joe.

“Joe saved his life – he had a really strong connection with Joe – and he loved him.”

17. Despite what you may have seen on Tiger King, he said there were no tigers in the bedroom when they made love. 

Yup. That was really asked.

Related topics: Andy Cohen, Dillon Passage, Joe Exotic, Radio Andy, Tiger King

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