Joe Exotic's husband Dillon Passage has revealed that his marriage to the Tiger King star started off as a "companionship".
The eccentric zookeeper married Passage - 33 years his junior - just two months after his previous husband Travis Maldonado accidentally killed himself.
Speaking to People magazine, 24-year-old Passage insisted that the pair met at the right time in both of their lives.
"Joe had a long conversation with me whenever he proposed," Passage recalled. "He was like, 'I need somebody who's going to be here for me, You may not be in love with me right now, but you will be.'
"It was like a companionship at first and then I just really saw his true colours and the kind person he was.
"I was in a bad place in my life and Joe really was helping me out and getting me healthy. And it was good to have somebody who I felt could take my loneliness away and bring me out of my depression and be there for me no matter what. And Joe made me feel like that."
Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison term for animal cruelty and an alleged plot to murder his rival Carole Baskin.