Carole Baskin

Carole Baskin’s missing ex-husband, Don Lewis, has reportedly been found alive — and the news is just now going viral.

Carole Baskin claims her husband is still alive.

Don Lewis, the Tiger King star’s missing ex-husband, was reportedly discovered alive in Costa Rica, but the discovery is only now going viral — more than a year later.

Baskin, 61, revealed to ITV’s This Morning in November 2021 that her ex, who was declared legally dead in 2002 after disappearing a few years before, is actually alive and well, according to the New York Post.

Baskin, on the other hand, told The Post that she was unaware of the alleged revelation until the sequel series aired in November 2021.

“I wasn’t aware of it until ‘TK2’ aired,” Baskin explained via email to The Post, referring to her Big Cats Rescue blog.

Tiger King star Carole Baskin says that her ex-husband, who was declared dead in 2002, has actually been found alive.

The owner of Big Cat Rescue claimed in the resurfaced video that the Department of Homeland Security had contacted her former spouse.

“One of the really exciting things that came out of Tiger King 2 is that they produced a letter from Homeland Security and it says that a special agent in charge with the FBI at Homeland Security reached out to the sheriff’s Detective George [Jorge] Fernandez,” Baskin told the outlet at the time.

“They said Don Lewis, my husband, is alive and well in Costa Rica,” she revealed.

“Yet all of this drama has been built around me having something to do with his disappearance, despite the fact that Homeland Security knows where he is.”

Lewis vanished in 1997 at the age of 59, and he would be 84 today if he is still alive.

The Washington Post has reached out to Baskin, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI for more information.

Lewis has not issued any public statements refuting the death rumours.

“I’m not sure how Homeland Security knows he’s alive and well in Costa Rica, but I’m relieved to hear it,” Baskin told ITV.

“I didn’t believe he could support himself. I agreed to let him take a million dollars down to Costa Rica so he could prove to himself that he could make a living.”

Baskin and her current husband Howard wrote a blog on her Big Cats Rescue website in November 2021, questioning why DHS released his alleged whereabouts to Netflix for season 2, in which she did not participate.

“Also noteworthy is the document they display from Homeland Security, which was not formed as an agency until 2002, five years after Don Lewis’ disappearance, claiming to have information that Don Lewis was alive and well in Costa Rica,” they wrote at the time. “How come this is only now appearing?”

Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue blog post included screenshots of alleged DHS documents from the second season of the show, as well as comments on unsubstantiated fan theories and claims that she had murdered him.

“And for everyone who still believes Carole murdered Don, please explain to us why you believe armchair detectives or you are better informed than the Special Agent in Charge at the FBI in this Homeland Security Document, which states ‘Don Lewis is currently alive and well in Costa Rica,'” they wrote.

According to this letter, the SAC at the FBI reported this to Jorge Fernandez of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. While they have redacted the SAC’s name and date, we do know that there was no Homeland Security until November 2002, 5 years after Don Lewis left his home in Tampa, FL.”

Even though the news has been out for over a year, people are only now becoming aware of it as a result of now-viral social media posts.

“Was I the only one who didn’t know Carole Baskin’s husband was living his best life in Costa Rica?” someone tweeted.

“Hold on, I’m seeing people saying Carole Baskin’s husband was found ALIVE?” wrote another.

Baskin revealed in the first season of the hit Netflix docu-series, which premiered at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, that her ex-husband had mysteriously vanished in 1997.

According to CBS News, the two were married at the time of his disappearance, and she claimed she never heard from him again.

She has since remarried, marrying Howard Baskin in 2004.

Many people suspected Baskin had something to do with her ex’s disappearance after she shared her story on the series that followed the trials and tribulations of incarcerated big-cat keeper Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic the Tiger King.

Some even launched into bizarre conspiracy theories, such as the unfounded claim that she was involved in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Exotic, who is currently serving a 21-year sentence for hiring a hitman to kill Baskin, also claimed she fed her ex to the tigers at Big Cat Rescue.

Baskin was so traumatised by it all that she joined a “secret” celebrity support group for people going through similar experiences.

Meanwhile, Exotic’s lawyer shot down the new allegations in a statement on Wednesday.

“During the production of Tiger King, extensive efforts were made to locate Don Lewis. They were all defeated. “He is not alive,” said lawyer John M. Phillips on Facebook.

“Another unsubstantiated allegation was made in Carole Baskin’s 2021 report. It’s being republished as if it’s true. No, it does not. The Tiger King’s story is riddled with lies, set-ups, and misdirection. We are still waiting for Joe’s release hearing. His Motion for New Trial details the lies and set-up. Take a look at it. “The job is finished.”

Lewis’ family suspected Baskin was involved in his disappearance, and she even paid for a TV spot during her 2020 debut on Dancing with the Stars, asking the public for answers and tips.

“Do you have any idea who did it or if Carole Baskin was involved?” During the commercial, Exotic’s lawyer, Phillips, stated.

Baskin, on the other hand, has categorically denied those allegations.

“I believe their actions are just a publicity stunt,” Big Cat Rescue’s owner told CNN after the commercial aired, “but if it helps us find Don, that will be a huge relief.”

Baskin did not appear in Tiger King Season 2 and has expressed her disdain for the Netflix narrative claiming she had something to do with Lewis’ disappearance.

“I told them to get rid of my phone number,” Baskin told Page Six in May 2021, six months before the show premiered. “If you fool me once, shame on you; if you fool me twice, shame on me.”

“Season 2 continues to do everything they can to falsely convince the viewer that Carole was involved in Don Lewis’ disappearance,” the Baskins said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times in 2021.

They also claimed that the second season sparked a new “surge” of anti-animal rights activists on social media.

“Consistent with their previous lack of ethics, the producers repeated the technique they used in Season 1 of having accusatory statements about Carole followed by images or video of her chosen to intentionally reinforce and magnify the accusations,” the statement continued.

“The predictable result has been a new wave of social media hatred directed at Carole on the day of the release.”

Baskin was so upset with Netflix that she filed a lawsuit against them, along with Royal Goode Productions, in November 2021, after the trailer for the second season was released.

In her lawsuit, she claimed that her scenes in the trailer did not accurately depict what happened. She asked the judge to stop using any footage of her in the second season and to remove her from any promotional materials, teasers, and trailers.

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