Caged in Legal Trouble

Family alleges defamation

If we take anything positive away from 2020, it will be the premiere of Tiger King.  While we found humor in the wild history of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin was allegedly cracking jokes about the disappearance and declared death of her husband, Don Lewis. Promoted to a role on Dancing with the Stars, Baskin was quoted in interviews as making light banter concerning her husband’s current and possibly unfortunate state.  

One of the comments included her prediction that she would “really kill it” on Dancing with the Stars.  In response to Baskin’s jokes, as well as her refusal to shut down comments about Lewis, her (late) husband’s three daughters and his former executive assistant have initiated legal action.  Despite the defamation claims against her, Baskin contends that she has not directed any humor toward the situation that she has been dealing with since Lewis’ disappearance in 1997.  Baskin declared Lewis deceased in 2002.  She has responded by saying her family turmoil is very personal to her and was heightened as a result of the premiere of Tiger King.

Considering the news of the recent lawsuit, the Big Cat Rescue CEO promised to not let the legal drama interfere with her performance as a dancer.  Learning of the filing right before her turn on the dance floor, she did not even confide in her professional dance partner Pasha Pashkov.  Baskin is reportedly hurt by the lawsuit and does not understand why the family of Lewis is choosing to perpetuate a hurtful situation.  On the other hand, Lewis’ family is disappointed in the defamatory statements made by Baskin in public statements, including in an interview on Good Morning America.  Despite her best efforts in performing a Lion King routine, Baskin was eliminated in Week 2 of Dancing with the Stars and is now forced to face the legal action against her.