'Dancing With The Stars': Carole Baskin sued by Don Lewis's family for being 'complicit in jokes' about him
Carole Baskin's appearance on the show shocked everyone and now she is getting sued by her missing husband's family
Carole Baskin's appearance on the show had everyone shocked. The reality star became a household name after Netflix dropped the 'Tiger King' documentary and her rivalry with Joe Exotic became a much-publicized affair. Since then, she has been in the center of media scrutiny. Following this, Baskin decided to change her image by appearing on 'Dancing With The Stars'.
In the latest episode (September 22), Baskin had mentioned how the show impacted her image. She broke down crying while speaking about how her family had been affected once her name was dragged into the media. Baskin believes the show will give her the platform needed to change people's perception of who she is. While she seems convinced that good things are about to come, the reality star has been having a hard time getting away from the accusations against her made by her missing husband, Don Lewis's family. ET reports that Lewis's family has filed a defamation suit against her as they believe she has been "complicit with jokes" on the show.
The lawsuit has been filed by Lewis's daughters Gale, Lynda and Donna, as well as, his executive assistant, Anne McQueen. In the lawsuit, the family alleges that she did not "condemn or correct the comments" made on Lewis on the show. In the lawsuit, it says Carole should have spoken out when a 'DWTS' judge said she "didn't quite kill the paso double, it was kind of sedated." Anne took umbrage with the use of "kill" and "sedated." At the same time, they pointed out that the reality star was "complicit in jokes" when she gave an interview to 'Good Morning America'.
The court documents also claim that Baskin has been uploading new information about her relationship with Lewis that she claims are old. Lewis's family attorney, Jon Phillips, stated that they had previously settled a "libel and slander claim" from McQueen in 1998, paying $50,000.
"These exact same false statements, and additional ones, are being made again in 2020. It is malicious. Making matters worse, Howard Baskin is making these same statements publicly, as is Big Cat Rescue. As such, they have been added as Defendants," the statement read, referring to Carole's current husband.
This comes after the family released a commercial calling for justice of Lewis and offering $100,000 to anyone who has information about his disappearance. Speaking to ET Philips explained the reason behind the commercial.
He said, "Carole Baskin goes on YouTube, Facebook and does blogs every single day getting out her narrative. It's landed her on a major TV show, Dancing with the Stars. She was the featured person in all the commercials and last to dance," Phillips said. "All the messaging about Carole and her fame comes at their peril. There was Tiger King -- and it focused on the exotic animal industry -- but a lot of it was about the death and disappearance of Don Lewis. A lot of her contention with Joe Exotic was about whether she was involved in Don Lewis' death."
He continued, "The family never really got the chance to know and years have gone by. Since Tiger King, Carole has done daily diary entries and was going to use this show as a springboard to her message. So [Lewis' family] wanted their message out there. They wanted, at least locally, to counter message Carole Baskin's, in their mind, lies and fraud."
He further slammed the DWTS judges and said, "Dancing with the Stars producers, you think it's funny to say 'she killed it' and to use part of that TikTok rhyme that is derogatory to Don in the judging, but let's stop and realize that there is an actual death involved here and be serious and maybe somebody will come forward. If not, at least people today will be talking about Don Lewis and not just Carole Baskin."
'Dancing With The Stars' airs on Mondays at 8 pm ET on ABC.