Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue and longtime rival to the imprisoned Joe Exotic, made her debut on Dancing With the Stars and it wasn't without a reminder of her mysterious past. As the animal activist and a polarizing figure on Netflix's controversial Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness made her debut on the series it came with a somber reminder from the family of her first husband, Don Lewis, about his unsolved disappearance. Lewis' family and their attorney John Phillips appeared in a TV spot that aired, outlining their love for Don and how much they miss him while noting that a $100,000 reward is up for any information that helps their case. The spot even mentions Baskin by name, watch it for yourself in the player below.
Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997, an event that served as a major plot point of the Tiger King docuseries. As it turns out, Lewis' will — which left Baskin all sorts of land and cold hard cash — has since confirmed as forged document. Despite the Netflix series framing it as such and fans insistence on her guilt, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister has gone on-record saying Baskin is neither a suspect or a person of interest in the case. It was Chronister who confirmed the forgery of Lewis' will earlier this summer, revealing the statue of limitiations on any criminal charges had long expired.
Baskin is joined in the new season of Dancing With the Stars by the likes of The Bachelor's Kaitlyn Bristowe, television host Jeannie Mai, actresses Anne Heche, Justina Machado and Skai Jackson, actor Jesse Metcalfe, musicians Nelly & AJ McLean, former basketball player Charles Oakley, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, former football player Vernon Davis, and director and Catfish creator Nev Schulman. She's joined by two other figures that have appeared on Netflix reality shows as well with Monica Aldama from Netflix's Cheer Chrishelle Stause of Netflix's Selling Sunset also appearing. The first elimination of the new season of Dancing With the Stars will take place tomorrow.
In addition to Dancing with the Stars, Baskin will be portrayed in an upcoming TV show by Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live standout Kate McKinnon. In a recent interview, Baskin said that McKinnon has yet to reach out about her work on the project. The saga of the TIger King story is also set to be the subject of an Amazon Prime original series, featuring Nicolas Cage playing the part of Exotic. It's unclear if someone will also play Baskin in that series, but considering their years long feud it seems likely.