Carole Baskin is facing another lawsuit by her former husband’s family. ETOnline reported on Tuesday that court documents show Don Lewis’ family and some former employees of his filed suit against Baskin for defamation.
In the filing, Gale, Lynda, and Donna Lewis are named in the lawsuit. As well as his former executive assistant, Anne McQueen.
They claim Baskin was “complicit with jokes” about Don’s death on Dancing With The Stars.
At the heart of those jokes were comments judges made about social media posts. Baskin is one of the infamous figures from the Tiger King Netflix documentary.
Her supposed role in Lewis’s death has long been a subject on social media. The DWTS judges brought up TikTok videos inspired by Baskin’s story.
In the lawsuit, the family alleges Baskin didn’t go far enough to condemn the judges’ comments. The suit claims Baskin was also complicit in jokes during her Good Morning America interview earlier in September.
Carole Baskin was looking for redemption
The Big Cat Rescue owner has long claimed she didn’t have a role in Lewis’ disappearance. Indeed she went on the record earlier this month hoping her Dancing With The Stars appearance could be a kind of redemption tour.
Instead, Lewis’ friends and family used her appearances to hound Baskin. The lawsuit is step two. They also purchased advertisement time on the program to talk about her former husband’s disappearance.
Breach of contract
Lewis’ family’s attorney, Jon Phillips, told ETOnline that they filed a lawsuit for defamation and various breaches as Baskin had settled a libel and slander claim from McQueen back in 1998. Phillips claimed Baskin paid Lewis’ former assistant $50,000.
The attorney claimed the same false statements are surfacing again in 2020. Baskin’s current husband Howard, and Big Cat Rescue issued similar comments recently. Because of this, they are also defendants in the lawsuit.
Phillips also explained why Lewis’ family put out the ad on Dancing With The Stars. He claimed Baskin’s appearances on Facebook, YouTube, and now network television, allowed her to behave as a victim. It was important for those close to Lewis get the other side of his story to the public.
While Lewis is technically only missing, it’s been more than 20 years since anyone has seen him and he’s presumed dead by most. Phillips also attacked DWTS producers for allegedly making jokes at Lewis’ family’s expense.
He said those producers saying things like “she killed it” weren’t a mere turn of phrase. The attorney claimed they knew what they were doing in regards to Carole Baskin. He said the suit is in place to remind people that the Lewis’ have feelings, too. He said he hopes some might see the bad taste of the jokes finally.
For her part, Baskin claimed the lawsuit was a publicity stunt.