Inside The Rumors About Joe Exotic's New Romance

Joe Exotic helped many a lonesome, bored person get through the first global pandemic lockdown. Joe, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was the hands-down breakout reality/docu-series/crime caper superstar of 2020. The big cat fanatic was the focus of Netflix's "Tiger King: Murder Mayhem and Madness." And madness doesn't even begin to describe this trainwrecktastic televisual masterpiece.

Joe was a mullet-haired, cowboy-dressing, gun-wielding, country-western singing, wannabe TV show host. He was also a tiger breeder and hoarder who ran a super shady petting "zoo" in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Joe lived there with his two husbands and regularly performed publicly with his menagerie of big cats. As per Netflix, he was embroiled in a bitter battle with Carole Baskin, an animal rights activist and big cat sanctuary owner. She'd threatened to expose Joe's appalling treatment of his animals and close down his "zoo" business. To add to the insanity, Baskin's first husband had apparently disappeared mysteriously without a trace. Joe claimed she'd murdered him and fed his body to her tigers.

Things became even crazier as their feud escalated, and their obsession with each other grew. It resulted in Joe being arrested for attempting to hire hitmen to kill Baskin. (Sometimes, reality really is stranger than fiction.) NPR reports that Joe was found guilty of the murder-for-hire plot and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Despite losing his legal battle and ending up inside, the rumors about Joe Exotic's new romance indicate he's still winning in the love stakes.

Joe Exotic found love behind bars

Joe Exotic has been keeping busy behind bars. Joseph Maldonado-Passage has filed for divorce from his hubby, Dillon Passage, so he can marry his new love. According to TMZ, Joe has fallen hard for new boo John Graham. The couple met while incarcerated in Fort Worth, where Graham served 10 years of a 12-year sentence for "burglary and possession of a firearm." He was released in March 2022, but the love still burns bright. "My understanding is that both Joe and Dillon have moved on romantically, and they should both have the freedom to love again, free from the bonds of marriage." Joe's attorney told People.

As evidenced in the show, Joe Exotic has always had a way with the cute (young) lads. In the Netflix series, Joe was in a polygamous relationship with his first and second husband. However, Women's Health reports that Joe has actually had five husbands so far. Apparently, he'd already gone through two when cameras started rolling, and Dillon arrived later.

Sadly, things didn't end well for Joe's fourth husband, Travis Maldonado, a hot 19-year-old skater boy who died by accidental suicide. Joe's third husband, John Finlay, who'd also been 19 when they met, was pretty much totally toothless. He was also heavily abusing steroids, resulting in violent outbursts. According to Intelligencer, Finlay is now married to a woman and has a complete set of gnashers. John "Gator" Finlay's Facebook page also indicates that he now works as a motivational speaker.