‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone’: Tiger King star Joe Exotic’s ex John Finlay details finding ‘deep love’ with a woman after branding wedding to Tiger King ‘fake’
Joe Exotic’s ex John Finlay has detailed finding ‘deep love’ with a woman and getting married to his ‘soulmate’ wife.
The 37-year-old soared to fame on Netflix’s Tiger King in 2020 where he married now jailed Exotic, 58, real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, and the late Travis Maldonado in a three-way ceremony in 2014.
Reflecting on his past marriage and now finding love with his ‘rock’ wife Stormey, 32, John claimed that his wedding to Exotic was ‘fake’ and that his new relationship has a ‘totally different feeling’.
John and Stormey live on an Oklahoma farm after meeting on a dating app in April 2019 with the married couple proud owners of a house cat.
Talking to The Sun, he said: ‘My wedding was the happiest day of my life. It kept being delayed because of the pandemic, so in the end we said “screw it” and went to the courthouse. I didn’t want cameras there because it was only for us.
‘I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. I had no idea what it is like to marry your rock, your soulmate, the person you spend every minute of the day with. Stormey completes me and we are deeply in love.’
He added that he told Stormey ‘everything’ about his past and admitted that he was ‘nervous’ that she would ‘run away screaming’.
John went on to slam his past three-way ceremony to Exotic and the late Travis in 2014, claiming it was ‘fake’ and a ‘publicity stunt’. He has previously alleged that he was ‘never legally married’ to the duo.
He added to the publication: ‘My fake wedding didn’t feel right at all. This is a totally different feeling. The fake one was basically a publicity stunt so Joe could get his own reality TV series. This one was the real thing.’
During the ill-fated ceremony, Exotic, John and Travis, who tragically died from a self-inflicted gunshot in October 2017, were all clad in hot pink dress shirts with corsages and black pants.
John later left the zoo and Exotic after he got a female co-worker pregnant, they went on to welcome their child and spent three years together.
Elsewhere during the new interview, John, who previously battled a meth addiction, said he is now ‘happier’ and ‘healthier’ after ditching drugs. He revealed last year that he was six years sober.
The 37-year-old said he is now looking to erase tattoos that document his past relationship and marriage to Exotic although he ‘doesn’t have the money’ to undergo the $125-a-hour procedure.
John was able to cover up a previous inking that said ‘Privately Owned By Joe Exotic’ with a bull’s head.
Exotic was convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder for hire in his plot to kill nemesis and Big Cat Rescue owner, Carole Baskin in 2019 – and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He is currently trying to push for a presidential pardon, this time from Joe Biden.
Only recently, he praised his husband Dillon Passage, 26, who he married in 2017, for ‘standing by him’ (despite claims Dillon had asked for a divorce) as well as ‘millions of fans around the globe who kept my name alive in the name of justice’.
John admitted that Exotic hasn’t tried to ‘contact him’ and that everyone needs to just ‘live their own life’.
In April 2020, John left fans in shock in a bonus episode for Netflix’s smash hit documentary Tiger King.
In the special episode of the show, the stars of the programme were interviewed about their life since the documentary, which portrayed the wild life of big cat owners in the US.
The former spouse of the show’s incarcerated antagonist showcased an incredible makeover, as he displayed his new dentures – after losing his teeth in the tragic throws of meth addiction and also shed his shirtless look.
The Joel McHale-hosted episode saw stars chatting to the stars of the show about life after Tiger King, after the documentary became a surprise smash hit.
Joel marvelled at John’s transformation, after the former addict grumbled over his portrayal in the show. He said he was made to look like ‘a drugged-out hillbilly.’
He proudly revealed in the episode that he is six years sober and showed off his new teeth and lengthy beard.
Speaking of changing his life, John said after the show: ‘I used to have a lot of pent up negative thoughts and bad aura about myself. I just quit thinking about the past and the negative stuff that’s happened to me…
‘It’s time to really think about the kids and my future and stuff and use this thing for something good not just to be, “Hey, I have a personal gain now. It’s all about me.” It’s not all about me. It’s about other people too.’