What Joe Exotic's Husbands Looked Like Before And After Marrying Joe

Netflix's Tiger King didn't just introduce the world to Joe Exotic — the former owner of an animal park that was filled with lions, tigers, and other captivating creatures, who's currently serving time for a murder-for-hire conviction — viewers also met Exotic's husbands. The now-viral star, who is openly gay, has tied the knot multiple times over the years. However, at the time the bulk of the docu-series was filmed, he was in a relationship with John Finlay and Travis Maldonado. Both men met their eventual shared spouse when they were pretty young and spent years in a polygamous (though technically illegal) marriage.

Due to wild working conditions, alleged drug use, and the addition of many tattoos, both Finlay and Maldonado experienced changes when it came to their appearances — especially when you consider what they looked like when they first met Exotic compared to after they married the now-(in)famous docu-series figure. 

Although, to be honest, one changed much more than the others.

John Finlay was with Joe Exotic for 11 years

John Finlay, the man who was shirtless throughout much of Tiger King, met Joe Exotic in 2003 when the then-19-year-old was looking for work after graduating high school and answered a Craigslist ad. Although he wanted to be a carpenter at the time, "jobs were scarce, and he didn't hesitate when, one day after applying, Joe hired him," according to The Daily Beast.

Finlay — who had a lot more hair and not nearly as many tattoos when he started working for Exotic — was living with a girlfriend initially, but eventually moved to the park where he began a relationship with his boss. During their time together, Finlay claims that Exotic introduced him to meth (which may or may not have caused him to lose many of his teeth). Additionally, the two lifted weights together to bulk up while Finlay got dozens of tattoos, including at least three dedicated to (and apparently paid for) by Exotic.

While Finlay went through noticeable physical changes during his relationship with Exotic, he's also gone through another more recent transformation, which is sadly something that can't be said of Exotic's other husband, Travis Maldonado.

Travis Maldonado thought working at the animal park would be 'the chance of a lifetime'

Travis Maldonado was once "a handsome, six-foot-four-inch tall 20-year-old from Southern California," according to The Daily Beast. However, after leaving high school at 18, he became bored and started dabbling in drugs. In order to help him find a stable path, his father, Danny, a former marine, gave him a thousand dollars to make his way to Joe Exotic's animal park in Oklahoma to find work. "He thought he was having the chance of a lifetime," Sherry Peck, the girlfriend of Maldonado's father, told The Daily Beast. "He didn't know he was walking into hell."

In October 2013, not even a month after Maldonado arrived at his new home, Exotic threw a wedding ceremony for himself; his husband, John Finlay; and Maldonado, who "seemed happy" at the time. Spending his days "roam[ing] the park" while passing time by "shoot[ing] guns into the ground" and "smok[ing] a lot of pot," Maldonado's appearance didn't change very much from what he looked like before he married Exotic compared to afterward.

That was partly due to the fact that, after just a few years of living at the animal park, Maldonado was killed at the age of 23 when he accidentally shot himself with a pistol, according to New York magazine's Intelligencer. Another sad aspect of the Tiger King tale.

Dillon Passage is still married to Joe Exotic

Although Joe Exotic was originally married to John Finlay and Travis Maldonado in Tiger King, he went on to marry Dillon Passage in 2017 following Maldonado's death. After meeting on the Grindr dating app when Passage was around 21 years old and struggling with drugs, the pair tied the knot just two weeks later, despite the fact that there was a significant (some might even say uncomfortable) age gap between the duo — 33 years to be exact. As viewers of the docu-series saw, Passage was the same kind of fresh-faced young man that Exotic had previously married.

The two are still together these days, even sticking it out as Exotic serves a 22-year sentence for a murder-for-hire plot and killing tigers. However, Passage is doing his best to keep the world updated on the status of their relationship by doing interviews with the likes of Andy Cohen and Variety. He's even scored himself a manager, so we might be seeing even more of Exotic's husband in the future, still looking relatively young with a backwards baseball cap that seems to be his signature look.