Carole Baskin ‘sued for defamation’ by missing husband’s family over Dancing with the Stars jokes

Lily Wakefield September 23, 2020
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Carole Baskin Dancing with the Stars

Carole Baskin wore hot pink tiger print and her signature flower crown for her Dancing with the Stars debut. (ABC)

Carole Baskin is reportedly being sued for defamation by the family of her missing husband Don Lewis over jokes about his death on Dancing with the Stars.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, Lewis’s family are suing Baskin for not speaking out when Dancing with the Stars judges started to joke about her husband, who is missing and presumed dead.

The Tiger King star has been accused of being “complicit” when judges brought up a viral TikTok video referencing the theory Baskin killed Lewis and fed him to their tigers.

No evidence of Lewis being killed has ever surfaced and Baskin vehemently denies having any involvement in his disappearance.

The lawsuit reportedly goes on to state that Baskin should have intervened when judge Bruno Tonioli said that she “didn’t quite kill the paso double, it was kind of sedated”.

It also takes issue with Baskin saying she was “ready to kill it next week” in an interview with Good Morning America.

In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, Jon Phillips, Lewis’ family’s attorney, said that Baskin had settled a defamation lawsuit brought by her ex-husband’s former executive assistant, Anne McQueen, in 1998.

Phillips said: “These exact same false statements, and additional ones, are being made again in 2020. It is malicious.

“Making matters worse, Howard Baskin [Carole’s current husband] is making these same statements publicly, as is [her animal sanctuary] Big Cat Rescue. As such, they have been added as defendants.”

Carole Baskin’s Dancing with the Stars debut interrupted by missing person ad.

Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue, shot to infamy after the release of the hit docuseries Tiger King, which tells the bizarre story of gay redneck tiger breeder Joe Exotic and the pair’s bitter rivalry.

Her late husband Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002.

Exotic, now in prison for plotting to kill Baskin, has long claimed his nemesis murdered her husband and fed him to their tigers, inspiring the viral TikTok dance.

The words of the TikTok parody are: “Carole Baskin killed her husband, whacked him. Can’t convince me that it didn’t happen. Fed him to tigers, they snackin’. What’s happening? Carole Baskin.”

During her Dancing with the Stars debut, viewers were distracted from Baskin’s performance by an advert which aired during the show, featuring Lewis’s family appealing for information about his disappearance.

Offering a $100,000 reward in the ad break, the family’s attorney said in the advert: “Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997. His family deserves answers. They deserve justice.

“Do you know who did this, or if Carole Baskin was involved?”

After her performance, Baskin told Entertainment Tonight: “I have not seen the ad. I am not at all surprised. It’s just been a huge publicity stunt on their part so what more could they possibly do than that?”

PinkNews has contacted Carole Baskin for comment.

More: Carole Baskin, dancing with the stars, Don Lewis

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