Dillon Passage has someone special in his life. The 25-year-old took to Instagram on Thursday to open up about his new relationship following his split from Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage.
Dillon, who revealed split from the Tiger King star earlier this year, explained that he hadn’t intended on making his relationship public yet, but shared that his new boyfriend, John, “has been my rock” through a difficult time.
“Everyone, meet John 👋,” Dillon wrote alongside photos of the pair. “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.”
“In short, this is an appreciation post for this special special man,” he added. “Thank you for being you ❤️.”
A post shared by Dillon Passage ♌️ (@dillert_lclm)
Joe and Dillon married in 2017, two months after Joe’s previous husband, Travis Maldonado, accidentally shot himself and died. When announcing his and Joe’s split in March, Dillon said he’ll “continue to always love and support” Joe, who is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after he was found guilty in 2019 of paying a man $3,000 to kill Carole Baskin.
“In November of 2017 I met Joe who was there for me during a difficult time in my life. After just 9 short months he was arrested and, for the last two and a half years, we have been apart,” Dillon explained in his split announcement. “I’ve always stood by his side and will continue to always love and support him.”
Dillon added, “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. 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.”
In an April 2020 interview with ET, Dillon said Joe would support him pursuing another relationship.
“Me and Joe have had that conversation, actually,” he revealed. “He doesn’t want me alone forever. Right now, I don’t feel the need to fill that empty void, [but] if I do ever meet somebody that I feel is going to be very important to me, then Joe would be perfectly fine– Well, maybe not perfectly fine, but he would support my decision to be happy again.”
“I would still be in contact with Joe,” he added. “I wouldn’t just go meet this person and then act like Joe never existed, because obviously he’s a big part of my life and he’s done a lot for me. I’m going to stick by his side and still be there even if I find somebody to love.”
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