Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Tiger King star Carole Baskin claims controversial Netflix documentary about Joe Exotic ‘lies to get viewers’

Show includes accusations levelled at Baskin including one that she fed her husband’s body to big cats at her sanctuary, which she brands ‘ludicrous’

Roisin O'Connor
Saturday 28 March 2020 15:04 GMT
Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Official Trailer

One of the stars of Netflix’s controversial true-crime documentary Tiger King has criticised the way she is portrayed in the series.

The show investigates the story of Joe Exotic, a tiger trader who became embroiled in a rivalry with Carole Baskin – owner of the Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary in Florida – who accused him of breeding big cats unethically.

Baskin’s ex-husband, Don, went missing 21 years ago. In the documentary, a number of people accuse her of being responsible for his death.

Accusations aired in the series include one that Baskin fed her husband’s body to the big cats at her sanctuary, a claim she brands “ludicrous”.

Baskin has never been charged with anything related to Don’s disappearance.

In a lengthy post on her website, Baskin claims interviewees in the series are “not credible” and that it has a segment “devoted to suggesting, with lies and innuendos from people who are not credible, that I had a role in the disappearance of my husband Don 21 years ago”.

“The series presents this without any regard for the truth or in most cases even giving me an opportunity before publication to rebut the absurd claims,” she writes.

“They did not care about truth. The unsavoury lies are better for getting viewers.”

Sharing a photo of a small meat grinder, she wrote: “The idea that a human body and skeleton could be put through it is idiotic. But the Netflix directors did not care. They just showed a bigger grinder.”

CaroleBaskinappears in Netflix’s new true crime docuseriesTiger King (Netflix ) (Netflix)

Netflix told Radio 1 Newsbeat it has no comment at this time.

Joe Exotic, born Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is a big cat breeder who ran an exotic animal park in Oklahoma named GW Exotic. He appeared in a 2011 Louis Theroux documentary about dangerous pets.

He was jailed last year for 22 years, for crimes including trying to hire someone to murder Baskin, and for various crimes related to endangered species and conservation.

Baskin’s response follows the news that Kate McKinnon has reportedly been cast to star in a film adaptation of Tiger King.

Tiger King is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in