Don Lewis family sues ‘Tiger King’ Carole Baskin for defamation after jokes, comments about her missing husband

The family of Don Lewis, who has been missing since 1997, filed a defamation lawsuit against former wife Carole Baskin after she made crude comments about him and did nothing to defend him against comments made by others.

According to TMZ, court documents indicate that Baskin is accused not only of going along with sarcastic comments about Lewis while appearing on “Dancing with the Stars,” but also making an insensitive comment when she appeared on “Good Morning America.”

While on “Good Morning America,” Baskin promised to “really kill it next week,” referring to her upcoming dance routine on “DWTS,” the outlet reports.

Lewis’ daughters, Donna, Gale, and Lynda, along with his former assistant, Anne McQueen, filed the lawsuit against Baskin and accused her of being “complicit” after she failed to speak up when the “DWTS” judges made reference to a crude TikTok video about Lewis.

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The TikTok video, according to the New York Post, implied that Lewis was killed and fed to tigers, something that Baskin’s nemesis, Joe Exotic, previously made reference to on the Netflix documentary.

“[Baskin] didn’t quite kill the paso doble, it was kind of sedated,” DWTS judge Bruno Tonioli joked, while Baskin said nothing in defense.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lewis vanished after he allegedly went to the Pilot Country Airport in Springhill, Florida, on August 18, 1997, reportedly headed to his home in Costa Rica.

Police found his keys, briefcase, and luggage left behind in his white 1989 Dodge van, parked at the airport. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said there is no money trail and Lewis’ two passports to Costa Rica were not flagged.

“His house manager there hadn’t seen him in six months,” Chronister previously told Nancy Grace. “His security guards that worked on the property hadn’t seen him in six months. Some of the business associates he had, hadn’t seen him in six months. We’re not operating under the theory that he went to Costa Rica.”

Lewis has not been or heard from since, He was declared legally dead in 2002, and the majority of Lewis’ estate was left to Baskin.

According to the Lewis family lawyer, Jon Phillips, Baskin was sued before in 1997 by McQueen for defamation. The lawsuit was settled for $50,000.

“These exact same false statements, and additional ones, are being made again in 2020,” Phillips said. “It is malicious. Making matters worse, Howard Baskin [Carole’s current husband] is making these same statements publicly, as is Big Cat Rescue. As such, they have been added as defendants.”

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[Feature Photo: Carole Baskin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ via ABC/Frank Ockenfels]