‘Tiger King’s Carole Baskin sued for defamation
ORLANDO – Carole Baskin, pop culture sensation featured heavily in Netflix’s docuseries “Tiger King,” is being sued by a former assistant for defamation. Part of the lawsuit includes a provision in which Baskin’s former husbands’ daughters will seek more information about what happened to their father, who mysteriously disappeared over two decades ago.
The complaint was an amendment to a suit filed earlier in state court by Don Lewis’ three daughters as well as his former assistant. It also names Baskin’s current husband and her exotic big cat sanctuary as defendants.
The lawsuit said that Baskin defamed her assistant by posting a vlog on YouTube earlier this month in which she says the woman played a role in her husband’s disappearance. Those statements and embezzlement allegations also were made on Baskin’s website, “bigcatrescue.org,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also is seeking what is known as a “pure bill of discovery,” allowing information to be gathered before a civil complaint is filed.
“Despite contentions to the contrary, the truth has never been explored in any court and there is a good faith basis to believe the truth will open up many viable remedies,” says the lawsuit.
The pure bill of discovery “will be useful to identify potential defendants and theories of liability and to obtain information necessary for meeting a condition precedent to filing suit,” the lawsuit said.
Baskin’s husband’s disappearance remains an open case. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced that his office was seeking new leads following the popularity of Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” released in March.
The series is about Joseph Maldonado-Passage, known as “Joe Exotic,” an Oklahoma zookeeper. He was convicted of trying to hire someone to kill Baskin.