Carole Baskin Reacts to ‘Tiger King 2’ Claims Her Husband Don Lewis Is Alive, Plus: Her Show ‘Cage Fight’
“Tiger King 2” just premiered on Netflix, but “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin has her own two-part series on Discovery+ called “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight.”
“Extra’s” Billy Bush caught up with Carole, who talked about “Tiger King 2’s” claims that her late husband Don Lewis is actually still alive, Joe Exotic’s cancer diagnosis, and what fans can expect from “Cage Fight.”
Lewis vanished in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002, but new claims suggest he’s living in Costa Rica. Baskin told Billy of “Tiger King 2,” “I was absolutely shocked to see that they produced a letter from Homeland Security stating that Don Lewis is alive and well in Costa Rica.”
Bush asked, “Do you believe he is alive and well in Costa Rica?”
She said, “I always thought he had crashed a plane out over the Gulf because that’s where everything had pointed to, so I am still trying to process what I saw in that report from Homeland Security.”
In other news, Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado, is battling aggressive cancer in prison. He is serving a 22-year sentence on several charges, including hiring hitmen to kill Big Cat Rescue owner Baskin. A federal appeals court, however, vacated his sentence in July and is requiring a trial court to dole out a new sentence that groups some of his alleged crimes together.
Billy asked, “Do you think he should be out? Do you have sympathy for Joe?”
Carole answered, “Anyone who has cancer, I would wish them a speedy recovery. But Joe is exactly where he belongs. The world is not safe with him on the streets.”
For now, Baskin is focused on her life’s mission to end the abuse of big cats in the U.S., and she said, “’Cage Fight’ is the opportunity for the public to see and join us in the fight to protect big cats.”
Billy said, “This is you sort of reclaiming your place in the big-cat world… You were obviously labeled and demonized by Joe Exotic — isn’t this you reclaiming your place?”
The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant shared, “Yes. ‘Cage Fight’ is what I have been doing for the past 30 years, and I’m so glad that people can now see exactly what it is that I do every day and why these animal abusers hate us so much.”
She isn’t stopping there, saying, “I intend to keep doing what we’re doing and going after these people… We’ll keep pursuing them until they stop the cub petting and until our federal bill passes that makes it illegal for them to even offer cub petting.”
“Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight” is out on Discovery+ now.