Well, if this just isn’t the wildest confluence of current popular events. According to his husband, Joe Exotic is in coronavirus quarantine in prison following Tiger King on Netflix’s insane popularity. This means the 57-year-old, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, has not only become a topic of worldwide attention since the docuseries premiered on March 20, 2020—now he’s even become entangled in the very same global crisis most of us were trying to forget, all while watching his misadventures on our screens. Could 2020 get any weirder?
News of Joe Exotic’s quarantine arrived on Wednesday, April 1, in an interview conducted by Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show. Cohen spoke to 24-year-old Dillon Passage, Joe’s fourth husband, about his relationship to the “Tiger King” and more. There were a lot of things to glean from their chat—like, the fact that Dillon actually never met Carole Baskin, and that, yes, he’s still married to Joe while he serves out his prison sentence. But perhaps the most disturbing update was that Joe is now under quarantine after possibly being exposed to COVID-19.
According to inmate records received by NBC, it appears that Joe was transferred to the Fort Worth FMC, which is a federally operated prison medical center in Texas. He was reportedly placed in quarantine after it became clear that inmates at the jail where he’d last been held had tested positive for coronavirus.
While it’s unclear how long Joe will remain at the medical center, we do know how long his expected prison sentence is set at: 22 years. The founder and former operator of Oklahoma’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park was convicted and sentenced in Jan. 2020 for a whole slew of crimes, including two counts of murder-for-hire (among which was his alleged plot to kill his rival, Carole Baskin, the CEO of Florida’s Big Cat Rescue), nine violations of the Endangered Species Act, and eight counts of violating the Lacey Act (another conservation law) after falsifying wildlife records.