Carole Baskin reacts after Tiger King star’s tricked into Rolf Harris and Jimmy Savile ‘shout-out

'I am amazed at the lengths (and expense) people will go to in order to trash my reputation'

Annabel Nugent
Wednesday 15 July 2020 09:57
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Carole Baskin tricked into giving a shout out to Rolf Harris

Carole Baskin, star of the hit Netflix series Tiger King, has responded after she fell victim to a bad-taste prank by Australian comedian Tom Armstrong.

The big-cats rights activist was tricked into delivering a birthday “shout out” to Jimmy Savile and convicted paedophile Rolf Harris in a video that has since gone viral.

In a statement issued to Metro, Baskin insists that she did not know who Rolf Harris or Jimmy Savile were prior to making the video. She also criticises Armstrong for instigating the prank.

“I am amazed at the lengths (and expense) people will go to in order to trash my reputation. Of course, I have never heard of Rolf Harris or Jimmy Savile and would not have done the Cameo had I known.”

The statement continues, “The signature line in my email reads, ‘I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.’ – Franklin D Roosevelt, and I think that tells you all you need to know about the kind of people who abuse me in their efforts to make other people hate me.”

Baskin offers personalised video messages for a fee via the popular celebrity messaging service Cameo.

In the clip, Baskin says: “Hey, all you cool cats and kittens. It’s Carole Baskin, at Big Cat Rescue. Hi Rolf Harris. All your kids wanted to get together and tell you that you have really touched them, and that they love all that you have done for them.”

“I hear there’s a lot of great stories about you and your best friend, Jimmy Savile – can’t wait to hear those. Happy birthday Rolf!”

Armstrong is known for his pranks on the popular social media site TikTok. Last week, the comedian fooled 7th Heaven star Beverley Mitchell into giving a “shout out” to Ivan Milat, one of Australia’s most notorious serial killers. In it, she thanks Milat for “helping out the backpacker gang”.

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Sharing the video of Baskin on Twitter, Armstrong wrote: “If this doesn’t break the internet I give up.”

Savile and Harris were both investigated by sex crimes by the Metropolitan Police as part of Operate Yewtree.

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