Tiger King Star Carole Baskin Responds to New Defamation Suit

Earlier today it was revealed that Tiger King subject Carole Baskin is now being sued for defamation over a video she posted on YouTube last month. This new litigation comes as an update to a previously filed lawsuit against Baskin with Anne McQueen, the former assistant of Baskin's first husband Don Lewis, joining the suit. McQueen alleges the defemation occurred after a video on Baskin's personal YouTube account alleged McQueen had some kind of role in Lewis' still unsolved disappearance. Now, speaking with The Associated Press, Baskin released a statement on the updated litigation and maintained her innocence regarding Lewis' disappearance.

“I didn’t kill him or have him killed, so there’s no way I’d associate losing him with that word or concept," Baskin wrote. "Any Tiger King reference to killing or murder is strictly based on the fact that so many animal abusers have tried unsuccessfully to kill me either by rallying their minions or hiring hit men.”

The disappearance of Lewis became a focal point of the Netflix documentary with primary subject Joe Exotic and others alleging that Baskin was involved in some capacity. The lawsuit that McQueen joins was originally filed by Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone, the daughters of Don Lewis. This current lawsuit is for a “pure bill of discovery” rather than monetary compensation, if successful it which would allow Lewis' children to collect information from Baskin and other defendants that would then in turn be used in filing a civil complaint.

This marks the latest movie by Lewis' children against Baskin after they aired a commercial during her debut on Dancing with the Stars asking for anyone with tips on the unsolved disappearance to come forward. Outlining their love for Don and how much they miss him, the parties noted that a $100,000 reward is up for any information that helps their case. The spot even mentions Baskin by name.


After the commercial aired the family's lawyer John M. Phillips revealed that "well over 100" calls had come in to the tip line and his law office, "and we've gotten legitimate tips. Some of them are (just) 'I watched 'Tiger King,' and I think Carole Baskin did it ' – kind of wasteful. But then there’s some pretty specific tips and locations mentioned that we’re gonna check out."

For the time being Baskin remains one of the cast members on Dancing with the Stars, surviving the first elimination round despite appearing in the bottom two pairs.