Culture

Carole Baskin Claimed Her "Dead" Husband Is Actually Alive And Well, But People Still Have Many Questions

By Gina Florio
·  3 min read
carole baskin
Netflix

The popular series "Tiger King" on Netflix made Carole Baskin famous, and one of the memorable plot lines was that her ex-husband mysteriously went missing in 1997 and was presumed to be dead. However, a 2021 interview has just resurfaced in which Carole claims her ex is actually alive and well, leaving many people confused about what the truth is.

The world couldn't look away from the eccentric individuals who were featured on Netflix's "Tiger King," particularly Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, archenemies who both have an obsession with large cats. "Hey all you cool cats and kittens" was Carole's signature greeting online. One of the plot lines of the first season of "Tiger King" was that Carole's ex-husband Don Lewis mysteriously went missing in 1997 after six years of marriage; he was legally pronounced dead in 2002, as the authorities were unable to locate him. However, in November 2021, Carole said something in an interview that shatters the whole claim that Don is dead.

Carole Baskin Claimed Her "Dead" Husband Is Actually Alive and Well, but People Still Have Many Questions

According to Carole in an interview with ITV's "This Morning" talk show, her ex-husband Don is doing just fine. He is alive and well in Costa Rica. Although this interview took place in late 2021, the clip has only just gone viral and people are asking what is actually going on with Carole and the ever-changing story about her ex-husband. You might recall in season 1 of "Tiger King" that Joe Exotic—Joseph Maldonado-Passage—continuously accused Carole of being heavily involved with her husband's disappearance and death. He repeatedly brought up this claim and used it to bash Carole's character, as the two were pitted against each other for quite some time.

But in the ITV interview Carole said that Homeland Security contacted her to inform her that Don was found in Costa Rica, and he seemed to be doing just fine. "They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica. And yet all of this drama has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance, when Homeland Security has known where he is," she said. Around the time of this interview, though, Carole had a theory about Don's disappearance that didn't match this account at all.

"Don loved to fly and was looking to buy ultralights and experimental planes. I believe Don crashed a small experimental plane or ultralight into the Gulf for a number of reasons," she said in a Q&A on Reddit. "He wasn't licensed to fly, yet did all the time. He couldn't file a flight plan and had to take off from closed airports to evade detection. He had to fly under 200 feet to stay off the radar, which means he would typically fly out over the Gulf because the air is smoother there, whereas over land there are up and down drafts that will crash you at that height. Since phone records indicated he was planning to go to Texas, and his van was found at a small private airstrip and we have never found Don or wreckage, I think this was the most likely scenario."

In that same thread, she was praised by Redditors for having the guts to share her theory online. Carole was never charged with a crime that was related to Don's disappearance or apparent death and she has spent much of her time denying the accusations from Joe Exotic that she played a role in her husband's mysterious vanishing.

Many people online are enjoying the new drama to emerge from the "Tiger King" character, while others express pure confusion at the way things are unfolding.

Homeland Security has not responded to various interview requests related to this matter.