Carole Baskinâs estranged former in-laws will reportedly make an appearance during the Tiger King starâs Monday night debut on Dancing With the Starsâbut not in the way you might think. According to TMZ, the family of Don Lewis, Baskinâs second husband (who went missing under suspicious circumstances and was legally declared dead in 2002), will appear in a new commercial asking for tips about his disappearance. Lewisâs death is discussed at length in Tiger King. Baskin, who is not an official suspect in the case, has long maintained her innocence, laughing off the idea that she had any involvement in the tragic matter.Â
The commercial will feature Lewisâs three daughters, Gale, Lynda, and Donna, per TMZ, as well as family attorney John Phillips asking the public to send in any potential new leads. The explosive popularity of Tiger King prompted local officials to reopen Lewisâs case in April. âI would be foolish if I didnât take advantage of [the showâs] popularity and put the message out that if you think you know something, you should contact the sheriffâs office,â Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told Time. âThis is very important to us.â
After Tiger King took off in spring, Baskin pushed back against the narrative that she might have had anything to do with the disappearance of Lewis, a millionaire who introduced Baskin to the world of big cats. (The narrative that she was involved was heavily pushed by Joe Exotic, Baskinâs nemesis in the big-cat business.) Lewis went missing in 1997 and was declared dead five years later. No one was ever arrested or charged with a crime in the case.Â
Baskin has pushed back against Tiger Kingâs portrayal of Lewisâs death. âIt 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 in 1997,â she wrote in a blog post about the Netflix docuseries. âThe 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.â
Still, Baskin hasnât shied away from the spotlight, quickly joining the personalized-celebrity-video-message app Cameo. She joined the uniquely chaotic cast of Dancing With the Stars in September.
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