‘Tiger King’: Who Is the Mother Of Joe Exotic’s Son, Brandon?

A sporadically-mentioned fact about Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic) that the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King, skimmed over, is that he has an adult son. Tiger King spends a significant amount of time covering Maldonado-Passage’s husbands, but who is the mother of his son?

Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s husbands are shown in ‘Tiger King’

Tiger King
Joe Exotic | Netflix

Any fan of Tiger King knows about Maldonado-Passage’s relationships with various young men. This includes his three-way marriage to both Hohn Finlay and Travis Maldonado.

After Finlay left the relationship for a woman, and Maldonado died by accidental suicide, the “Tiger King” wed Dillon Passage. They’re still married to this day.

Maldonado-Passage touched on his struggle with sexuality in the early years via Tiger King. Still, the series didn’t mention former relationships with women, including one whom he had a son, Brandon Chappell.

While the information on Chappell is also sparse, don’t confuse him with the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Lamar University.

Who is the mother of Brandon Chappell?

The identity of Maldonado-Passage’s former relationship was unclear until his niece, Chealsi Putman, recently spoke out. Putman has major opinions about her uncle and the Tiger King docuseries.

Putman told DailyMailTV Maldonado-Passage had a son with his then-girlfriend in the late 1980s. The two resided in Eastvale, Texas together. She is not mentioned in Tiger King, but Chappell is shown briefly in one of the episodes.

“Joe was in and out of Brandon’s life when he was growing up, at one point just a few years ago Brandon and his then-wife both worked at the zoo with Joe,” Putman revealed.

“Joe would go around telling everyone this was his son, he made no secret about it. Brandon was even in a few scenes in the Netflix show.”

Chappell’s mother’s name is Kim, though there’s no other information available at this time. According to multiple reports, Maldonado-Passage explored the gay club scene around the time things ended with that relationship.

Former producer of JoeExoticTV, Rick Kirkham, told Metro.co.uk that he knew about Chappell from working at the zoo.

“He had children and his son came to work at the zoo the summer that I was there the very first summer,” he said, adding he was surprised Tiger King didn’t mention any of it.

“Joe treated his son worse than he treated the other employees. He expected more out of him, he expected him to take more leadership and do harder work. He had his son sweeping the park instead of giving him a decent job, feeding the animals or something like that,” he said.

However, Kirkham added that Chappell wasn’t a secret saying Maldonado-Passage told everyone “that was his son.”

Does Maldonado-Passage have a good relationship with either of them?

It doesn’t look as though Chappell and Maldonado-Passage have much of a relationship. Chappell and his wife moved from the zoo back to Texas after a falling out.

Kirkham offered a little further insight into their strained relationship saying, “t was almost as though he regretted having a child, that he regretted having been married.”

Considering all that’s happened since the March release of Tiger King, it’s unlikely Chappell’s mother and Maldonado-Passage would have a good relationship either. Should any further details about the mystery woman arise, we’ll keep you updated.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is available on Netflix.