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'Tiger King' Star Carole Baskin's Ex Speaks Out On Her Missing Ex-Husband

'Tiger King' Star Carole Baskin's Ex Speaks Out On Her Missing Ex-Husband

After watching Tiger King, the jury is divided on Big Cat Rescue owner, Carole Baskin.

Half of the nation is adamant that animal activist Carole is Joe Exotic's innocent victim, while others are certain she's got her own dark past - convinced she murdered her husband Don Lewis back in 1997.

The theory that Carole killed her husband is central to Joe Maldonado-Passage and many others' hate campaign against her, and it's delved into in detail in episode three.

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The speculation began after the seven-part documentary revealed Don had gone missing, only to be pronounced dead five years later, with his ex wife Gladys Lewis Cross, daughters Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez and Gale Rathbone and Joe theorising that Carole fed him to her cats.

Now, some comments from another of Carole's ex boyfriends have come to light...and let's just say they're pretty interesting.

Some people think Baskin murdered her husband (Credit: Netflix)
Some people think Baskin murdered her husband (Credit: Netflix)

It turns out Jay Bakyal, the guy who dated Carole after Don, but before her current husband Howard, actually filed a restraining order against her.

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While the restraining order got rejected on the basis that there was no factual evidence of violence or threat of imminent fear, its contents makes some startling claims about Don.

Shared on social media by author Robert Moor, a picture of Jay's restraining order petition read: "Her prior husband presumed dead, one day she (Carole) said to me when I asked her 'what happens if your husband shows up now?'.

"Her response was 'Dead bodies can't talk'."


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The statement went on: "Her former husband's daughter told me she could be dangerous and watch my back."

It also detailed how Carole carried two loaded guns on her possession, and had told him herself that she was a suspect in her ex-husband's disappearance.

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Plus, another excerpt read: "I honestly fear I am in danger of death or serious bodily injury because her prior husband is missing..."

Read the full application here.

Joe Exotic is adamant Carole killed her husband (Credit: Netflix)
Joe Exotic is adamant Carole killed her husband (Credit: Netflix)

While this certainly makes for interesting reading, it's important to note that the claims made in the restraining order petition have not been verified, and ultimately, the court denied Jay's petition.

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Since Tiger King aired, Carole has spoken out on the "salacious and sensational" documentary, and maintained that she did everything she could to help police in their search for Don.

In a statement posted on her website, Carole explained that filmmakers came to her five years ago with the idea of making "the big cat version of Blackfish" (the documentary which explored the abuse at SeaWorld) but "did not do any of that", instead, she says filmmakers had "the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers."

Carole went on to discredit the testimony of her accusers in the documentary.

Don Lewis' body was never found (Credit: Netflix)
Don Lewis' body was never found (Credit: Netflix)

"As [Don's ex-wife] Gladys and the daughters did everything they could to make life difficult for me after Don disappeared, they spread this rumor that they thought I had ground Don up and fed him to the cats. And the media loved it," she wrote.

"The meat grinder shown in the video was enormous. Our meat grinder was one of those little tabletop, hand crank things, like you'd have in your kitchen at home... The idea that a human body and skeleton could be put through it is idiotic. But the Netflix directors did not care. They just showed a bigger grinder."

You can read Carole's full blog post here.

Carole Baskin is now re-married (Credit: Big Cat Daily/YouTube)
Carole Baskin is now re-married (Credit: Big Cat Daily/YouTube)

The documentary has become a huge success since its release on the streaming platform last weekend.

Told through a mix of archival and new footage, we learn about the big cat subculture in America and its key players, focusing on the eccentric Joe Exotic, who is currently serving 22 years for a murder-for-hire plot against Carole Baskin.

But the story appears to be far from over. Carole's blog post comes at the same time as news that Joe Exotic is reportedly launching a $94 million (£78 million) lawsuit from prison.

Exotic - who resides at Grady County Jail in Chickashi, Oklahoma - is claiming a massive conspiracy led him to be locked up, and for the death of his mother.

Whatever you think about Carole Baskin, it sounds like we haven't heard the last of her.

Topics: tiger king, Carole Baskin

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Tyla with a particular interest in highlighting women's issues and telling inspiring first person stories. She's also their resident foodie, and loves covering exciting new beauty launches, too. Contact her at [email protected]