Travis Maldonado was the 4th husband of Joe Exotic. He and Joe met in 2013 and got married in a three-way ceremony with Joe’s long-time partner John Finlay. Travis was 19 when he first met the Tiger King.

He was working in Joe’s exotic zoo and they soon got romantically involved. While Joe and Travis fell in love, Finlay was still with Joe and they all got married together in a three-way ceremony.

However, soon after the marriage, Finlay got involved with a lady working in the zoo whom he got pregnant, for which he eventually left Joe and Travis and married the woman.

Joe Exotic’s First Husband

The Tiger King had a life that saw both happy and sad moments. Joe first met Brian Rhyne in the 1980s, his first husband, and married him while gay marriages were not legal in the States.

In spite of gay marriage not being legalized at the time, we can consider Brian Rhyne as Joe’s first husband, as they were officially romantic partners and lived together after being officially involved. Joe Exotic had 5 more husbands and who are they, we will discuss this further in the article.

Brian passed away in 2001 from complications of HIV, soon after which Joe met J.C Hartpence (Charles Jeffery Hartpence), a convicted murderer and a pedophile serving jail time currently.

After that, he again got romantically involved with John Finlay while still being with Heartpence. Years later in 2014, Joe and Finlay married Travis in a polyamorous style of wedding that garnered a lot of attention on social media and amongst the rest of the public.

Later after the marriage, Finlay left the throuple as he got one of his female colleagues working in the zoo pregnant and married her eventually.

What Happened to Travis Maldonado?

Travis and Joe were leading a happy married life and everything was going smoothly, in spite of Travis having a history of drug abuse, because of which he joined Joe Exotic’s zoo filled with wild animals to distract himself from his addiction.

In 2017, in a tragic incident that some people claim to be suicide, Travis shot himself in the head and died on the spot. Some claim it could possibly be due to his psychological issues as a result of his serious addiction to drugs in his initial days, which could possibly have extended till the final days of his life.

The authorities that were investigating the incident, have clarified that it was an accidental suicide. Travis was playing with a gun without its magazine attached. He was pointing it at himself and again at the worker working at the counter.

The worker told him not to toy around with the gun but Travis didn’t listen. There was a bullet in the gun but no magazine, so Travis said it would not do any harm even if a shot was fired. Travis aimed at his own head and fired a shot, after which he died immediately.

Did Travis Maldonado Kill Himself?

In the docu-series that aired on Netflix, “The Tiger King” gave us an insight into what really happened in the life of Joe Exotic and the tragic events that happened in his zoo revolving around Travis’s death.

Joe Exotic: Current Status

The cause of his death is not a mystery to be solved except the question that revolves around people’s minds – did Travis really not know that a gunshot from a gun without a magazine could also cause harm? This is the only question that the authorities and people have in mind regarding his death.

Joe seemed to have mourned the death of his lover, however, he was quick to move on. Just 2 months after Maldonado’s death, he found a new lover and his fifth husband named Dillon Passage.

Like the rest of his relationships, this did not work either and they are currently divorced. Joe has been arrested on charges of attempt-to-murder and animal abuse and is serving his sentence.

He allegedly hired a hitman to murder Carole Baskin, his nemesis and the owner of Big Cat Rescue, and also on charges of breeding wild animals and shooting them to accommodate other animals.