'Tiger King's Joe Exotic and husband Dillon Passage are 'seeking a divorce' after 3 years of marriage


“Tiger King" stars Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage) and husband Dillon Passage are calling it quits.

The 25-year-old revealed that he would be seeking a divorce from the 58-year-old, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against rival, Carole Baskin.

The couple has been married for three years after tying the knot in a whirlwind wedding in 2017 just two months after Joe’s previous husband, Travis Maldonado, accidentally shot himself and died.

“In November of 2017 I met Joe who was there for me during a difficult time in my life. After just short months he was arrested and, for the last two and a half years, we have been apart. I’ve always stood by his side and will continue to always love and support him,” Passage began on Instagram.

Passage said he wouldn’t comment on the social media tirades Joe has made against his manager, Jeff Duncan, but he did explain the reason behind his decision to divorce.

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

He went on: "We are on good terms still and I hope it can stay that way. 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.’

Joe Exotic’s attorney, John Phillips, told PEOPLE: "Our firm is reviewing options with our client, Joe Maldonado Passage, regarding separation and divorce. We have no comment at this time and request privacy."

"Joe is simultaneously dealing with medical issues, civil rights violations and the appeal of his conviction. The world has come to know Joe Exotic as the bigger than life 'Tiger King,' but right now he is dealing with the very real hardships and injustices within our criminal justice systems and how it destroys all things a person on the outside holds dear," Phillips added.

Joe, however, believes that the duo is not in a "hurry" to legally split, according to an email shared to TMZ by attorney Francisco Hernandez.

"Me and Dillon have talked and we are not going to get in a hurry and get a legal divorce," Joe reportedly stated in the email.

"This has been tough on both of us and he is going to do what he thinks he needs to do and I prefer to stay married right now so things don't get complicated and if I live through this great we will figure it out then," the email stated.