Infamous Tiger King star Joe Exotic claims that he may die soon in a bizarre and troubling open letter sent from prison.
Now, his much younger husband Dillon Passage is opening up about heartbreak and how he copes with Joe’s imprisonment.
After Joe Exotic’s expression of misery and fear went public, Dillon posted on Instagram about his own feelings.
"My heart is breaking after reading Joe’s letter," he begins.
"He is living in hell right now," Dillon characterizes, "and I’m outraged by the way he is being treated."
"I can’t even begin to imagine how that is breaking his spirit," he laments.
"I love Joe," Dillon affirms, "and I’m standing by him."
"The photos that I post on here are a highlight reel of my life," he writes of his Instagram account.
"What you don’t see are the hours that I’m alone at home," Dillon points out, "missing my husband and my friend."
Very few Instagram denizens care to show their tearful, miserable moments with followers. No one has a right to see that side of your life.
"I’ve been writing letters," Dillon confirms, "and it is a shame to hear that he isn’t receiving them."
"I know they limit the amount he can read in a week," he laments, "and I only hope they eventually get to him."
"Joe, I hope that this reaches you too," Dillon says of his post.
"Know that I love you," he gushes, "and I’m fighting for you everyday."
Dillon also spoke to People this week about his husband’s incarceration.
"It’s something that is a day to day thing," the 24-year-old says of how he copes.
His husband is serving a prison sentence of 22 years — that is almost as long as Dillon himself has been alive.
"It’s kind of my normal life now," he admits. "It’s kind of weird to say, but I’ve kind of gotten used to our situation."
"The only thing that’s keeping us going is really just hoping for the best," Dillon expresses.
"And," he adds, "these lawyers seem like they have a really good plan to kind of get things executed."
Awkward choice of diction there, but okay.
"I’m not really able to speak to him very often," Dillon laments, explaining: "He just doesn’t have a lot of phone privileges."
"Usually, the only time I can talk to him is when his lawyers are on the phone," Dillon shares.
So last time I talked to him was probably a week and a half ago," he recalls. "And I mean, he’s holding up."
"Obviously, it’s kind of hard to be good while you’re in jail," Dillon adds.
"But yeah," he adds, "he’s just doing his best to stay positive."
"He’s kind of down," Dillon characterizes.
"Obviously there’s a lot going on," he acknowledges.
"I mean, he’s just really hoping for the best," Dillon concludes, "and is really putting all his faith in lawyers."
Assuming that he doesn’t get that pardon from Donald Trump that he has been angling to receive, that is.
You can believe that Joe Exotic is a sympathetic figure whose complicated life shaped him into the man that he is today.
At the same time, you can believe that he deserves to be in prison for the multiple heinous counts of animal cruelty.
Similarly, you can also believe that Joe’s experiences behind bars are yet another example of the need for sweeping prison reform.
No one can be rehabilitated while they are being dehumanized. No one needs a limit on how much he is allowed to read.