19 January 2023
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Carole Baskin of Tampa’s Big Cat Rescue has weighed in on renewed press coverage of claims that her former husband is “alive and well” in Costa Rica.
Baskin’s comments to Nexstar’s CBS 42 came after a New York Post article rehashing claims about the whereabouts of her ex-husband, Jack Don Lewis, who went missing from the family home in 1997.
“Carole Baskin says ‘dead’ husband was found alive – but no one noticed,” the tabloid reported Wednesday. The story quickly went viral on social media, with Carole Baskin herself quickly trending on Twitter.
When contacted about the resurfaced story, Baskin said the information is old news.
“This aired back in Nov. 2021 and I’ve mentioned it in the more than 60 interviews I’ve done since then, where reporters asked about Don, so I’m surprised everyone in the press is acting like they aren’t aware of it,” Baskin said.
At one point in Netflix’s “Tiger King 2,” a document purportedly produced by the Department of Homeland Security showed information related to Lewis’ case. The document, which could not be authenticated by CBS 42, claims that investigators found Lewis “alive and well” in Costa Rica.
The Department of Homeland Security has not yet responded to requests for comment on the case, but the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office still listed Lewis as a “missing endangered adult” as of publication time.
Baskin said the renewed press coverage may be because “Tiger King 2” didn’t receive the initial attention its previous installment had garnered.
“I guess Tiger King 2 wasn’t as popular as the first one that came out just as we all went into lockdown,” she said.
Asked whether she had anything she’d wish to say to her former husband, Baskin kept it short and clear.
“No,” she wrote plainly.
“For the cats,” Baskin signed her response – then, below her signature, a quote attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”