Not interested. Viewers were treated to a new episode of Netflix’s hit docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness on Sunday, April 12. “The Tiger King and I” served as a reunion for some of the show’s breakout stars, hosted by Joel McHale, but fans noticed one major key player was missing from the aftershow: Carole Baskin.
Just days before the aftershow was set to premiere, a rep for the Big Cat Rescue owner revealed why she would not appear in the episode in a statement to Us Weekly. The 58-year-old claimed she had “not been approached,” but she “would not participate if asked.”
As viewers recall, Carole is the archnemesis of the Tiger King‘s main subject, Joseph Maldonado-Passage (a.k.a. Joe Exotic). The 57-year-old, who was the former owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, also did not participate in the episode. He is currently in jail serving out a 22-year sentence for 19 federal charges, include two charges related to a murder-for-hire plot after he allegedly hired a hitman to kill Carole. He was also convicted of 17 charges of animal abuse, which included illegally selling or attempting to sell tigers without a federal permit.
But ever since the docuseries premiered on Netflix on March 20, Carole has been very vocal about the fact that she did not agree with the way she was portrayed on the show — specifically, she was upset that producers chose to focus on her alleged involvement in the 1997 disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis. She has previously denied any involvement in the case.
“I just feel so angry that people have totally missed the point,” she told the Tampa Bay Times on Friday, April 10. “And the point is these cubs are being abused and exploited and the public is enabling that.”
The Citrus Park, Florida native explained that when she agreed to participate, she thought producers were working on a documentary that would expose animal cruelty in the exotic animal trade in America. But in episode 3, titled “The Secret,” the show delved into details of Carole’s past which included rival Passage-Maldonado’s theory that she allegedly killed her husband. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s spokesperson Merissa Lynn told the Tampa Bay Times that Carole “is not considered a suspect” in Lewis’ disappearance.