Carole Baskin Denies ‘Lies’ In Netflix’s Tiger King About Her Ex-Husband’s Disappearance
Tiger King’s Carole Baskin has called out the makers of the documentary for ‘lying’ about the events surrounding the disappearance of her ex-husband.
Since its release on Netflix last Friday, March 20, the seven-part true crime series has quickly become a much-discussed topic, with viewers getting swept up in the battle between Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka ‘Joe Exotic’, and big cat sanctuary founder Carole.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness mostly focuses on the now-imprisoned polygamist and exotic animal enthusiast Joe, and the events that led to him being convicted of trying to hire someone to kill Carole.
However, one episode from the docuseries in particular focuses on the disappearance of Carole’s former husband Don Lewis, who went missing in 1997 and was declared dead five years later, though no body was ever discovered.
In the documentary, Joe and others suggested Carole may have been responsible for Don’s death, speculating she covered it up by feeding his remains to the tigers at her sanctuary. Carole denied the claims in the series, and has since released a blog post slamming the documentary and the conjecture featured within it.
In the statement, shared on her sanctuary’s website, Carole claimed Netflix directors initially said they wanted to create a documentary that would ‘expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for cub petting exploitation’.
She expressed her disappointment Tiger King failed to do ‘any of that’, and instead has ‘the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers.’
As part of that, it has a segment devoted to suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that I had a role in the disappearance of my husband Don 21 years ago.
The series presents this without any regard for the truth or in most cases even giving me an opportunity before publication to rebut the absurd claims. They did not care about truth. The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers.
Carole went on to outline the ‘history of events in the years before [her] husband’s disappearance’, as well as the roles of people featured in the series, insisting ‘the truth’ required understanding of the backstory.
She addressed the ‘supposed circumstantial evidence’ surrounding her rumoured involvement, offering explanations for the events Netflix picked out.
Carole also claimed the restraining order Don filed against her was to stop her getting rid of the items he’d hoarded on their property, and said the reason she was given Power of Attorney was because Don owed money to the ‘local version of the mafia’ in Costa Rica, so she included ‘disappearance’ as an event that would activate the Power of Attorney.
Addressing the rumour she’d fed her former husband’s remains to tigers, Carole said:
As [Don’s ex-wife] Gladys and the daughters did everything they could to make life difficult for me after Don disappeared, they spread this rumor that they thought I had ground Don up and fed him to the cats. And the media loved it.
The meat grinder shown in the video was enormous. Our meat grinder was one of those little tabletop, hand crank things, like you’d have in your kitchen at home… The idea that a human body and skeleton could be put through it is idiotic. But the Netflix directors did not care. They just showed a bigger grinder.
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Carole summed up her post by admitting ‘Don was not easy to live with’ and said they ‘had [their] moments’ like most couples, but insisted she ‘never threatened him and… certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance.’
Netflix does not appear to have responded to Carole’s comments at the time of writing, March 24, and in spite of her efforts to refute the ‘lies’ there are still a number of armchair detectives out there who continue to speculate about the events in Tiger King.
We may never know the whole truth about what happened to Don, and as such I’m sure the theories will simply keep on coming.
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Big Cat Rescue