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Brian Rhyne Bio, Joe Exotic First Husband, Cause Of Death

“Tiger King” season 2 arrived in 2021 and the first person that came to everyone’s attention was Joe Exotic’s first husband Brian Rhyne. This article covers information on his birthday, his parents, and the cause of his death, along with information on his husband’s other relationships.

So, scroll down this article to learn more about Brian Rhyne.

Meet Brian Rhyne, Joe Exotic First Husband

Joe Exotic met his first husband Brian Martin Rhyne in the ’80s after he returned to Texas. According to Intelligencer, Joe described him as a sassy 19-year-old man with a slender body type. At the time, he was working as a security job at a gay cowboy bar called the Round-up Saloon.

Soon after, Joe and Brian moved in together in a trailer located in Arlington. Both shared almost the same looks with mullets and horseshoe mustaches and dressed in jeans and boots. They lived blissfully snorting meth and partying out in the bars on Saturdays and spending their Sundays laying around the house watching Westerns on TV.

Eventually, they tied the knots at The Round-Up at the time in the 80s when Gay marriage was illegal.

After the death of Joe’s brother, Joe got a sizable amount which he used to buy an old horse ranch in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. He built a refuge for rescued animals and he named it after his brother the Garold Wayne Exotic Animal Memorial Park. Joe and Brian moved into the ranch that already had a house on the property.

Who Are Joe Exotic’s Other Husbands? 

After the death of his husband, Joe’s taste in men changed. He reportedly spent more time at a gay bar named Copa. Everyone remembered him there for walking in on a Saturday night with a tiger on a leash. He enjoyed approaching younger men who often professed to be heterosexual.

Then, Joe met a 24-year-old events producer named J.C. Hartpence from Oklahoma. J.C. had experience working in the events industry, so together they ended up creating Joe’s traveling tiger/magic show. Within a few years, the relationship took a dark turn. Hartpence reportedly wanted the zoo to become a rehabilitation center for the big game meanwhile Joe continued breeding his cats.

Texas Monthly reported, in 2003, Joe reportedly threatened Hartpence with a photograph of their tiger, Goliath holding a piece of meat labeled “J.C.’s remains,” along with a note reading, “If you don’t get your shit together, this is gonna be your reality.” Hartpence held two guns to Joe’s head while he was asleep and told him that he was leaving the zoo.

Now, J.C. is living life in prison for a pedophile case.

In 2003, John Finlay, a 19-year-old he hired to help run his zoo. He even got a tattoo that read, “PRIVATELY OWNED BY JOE EXOTIC just below his belt. John, Joe, and Joe’s other husband Travis Michael Maldonado (a recovering addict) had a three-way ceremony. But, in less than a year, John wanted an out from the marriage as he believed that Joe was becoming domineering, controlling, and obsessive.

As for Travis, he and Joe separated after 4 years of being in a relationship in 2017. Travis shot himself accidentally that killed him instantaneously.

After the end of the three-way marriage, Joe met Dillion Passage and they tied the knots on 11 December 2017. The pair secured their marriage license on the 5th of December. The wedding happened two months after Travis’s death when Dillion was 22 years old. The couple moved to Gulf Breeze Florida where Joe worked washing dishes at a pirate-themed seafood restaurant.

It has been reported that they are still married to each other.

After Joe’s arrest, Dillion moved back to his hometown in Texas.

Brian Rhyne Cause Of Death

A season of turmoil came into the life of Joe’s life when his husband was diagnosed with HIV. Almost 14 years into their marriage, Brian died because of the complications of the AIDS virus in 2001. According to New York Magazine, “Joe was loading him into a pickup to take him home to die peacefully when he breathed his last breath. Joe screamed loud enough to make your ears ring.”

Joe held his husband’s funeral inside the zoo.

Related FAQs

  • How Old Was Brian Rhyne At The Time Of His Death?

At the time of death, Brian Rhyne was 33 years old. He had met Joe when he was 19 and their marriage lasted for nearly 14 years. Plus, his obituary stated that he was 33 years old when he died on 22 December 2001 in Norman, Oklahoma.

  • Where Was Brian Rhyne Born?

Brian Rhyne was born on 19 May 1968 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to his parents Jerry Don and Treva Merle Maloy Rhyne.

  • What Did Brian Rhyne Do For A Living?

Brian Rhyne attended and graduated from Franklin High School in Franklin, Texas, in 1986. He lived in Arlington, Texas for several years and lived in Wynnewood for the last four years of his life. After joining Joe, he worked as an animal curator at the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

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