'Tiger King's Carole Baskin says she'd support ex-husband Don Lewis if he was found alive: 'I loved' him

The Netflix star discusses accusations she killed Lewis made by his family and her onscreen rival, Joe Exotic

"Tiger King" star Carole Baskin is further defending herself against accusations she played a role in the mysterious disappearance and death of her first husband, Jack "Don" Lewis.

In a new interview with Fox News, the big cat enthusiast recalled what a "challenge" it's been to be accused of Lewis' death. In 1997, Lewis went missing and was ultimately declared dead by authorities. Baskin, who has never been charged with a crime related to the cold case, spent much of 2020 releasing statements refuting the accusations made in the series by her chief rival Joe Exotic, also known as Joseph Maldonado-Passage, as well as Lewis' kin.

Baskin claims the Netflix docuseries "gave a megaphone to disreputable people who painted the situation to make people believe that narrative."

"It's been a challenge with everything else that's going on to have people accusing me of things that I know are untrue," Baskin shared. "If they did five minutes [of investigating] they would know [the claims] are untrue. They were so convinced by what they saw."

CAROLE BASKIN SAYS NETFLIX 'BETRAYED' HER OVER 'TIGER KING' PORTRAYAL, CLAIMS JOE EXOTIC FEUD WAS OVERBLOWN

Carole Baskin claims she'd support her first husband Don Lewis if he were still alive today. He was declared dead after going missing in 1997.

Carole Baskin claims she'd support her first husband Don Lewis if he were still alive today. He was declared dead after going missing in 1997. (Big Cat Rescue)

Last fall, Lewis' three daughters, Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone, as well as his former assistant, Anne McQueen, filed a lawsuit for defamation against Baskin. Attorney John Phillips confirmed to Fox News he no longer represents Lewis' daughters as they've withdrawn from the case. McQueen had no comment as she has pending litigation.

Although Lewis is believed to be dead, Baskin revealed how she'd react if Lewis were miraculously found alive today. She is currently married to her second husband, Howard Baskin.

"I loved Don and I feel like whatever happened to him happened to him because of the fact that he had such a problem mentally," Baskin claimed. "He just wasn't able to make good decisions for himself and so if he were to be found, I would take care of him for the rest of his life and my husband Howie is the kind of person who would understand that."

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Carole Baskin, shown here as a young girl, said it's been a 'challenge' to be blamed for Don Lewis' disappearance. A majority of the claims took place after the release of Netflix's 'Tiger King.'

Carole Baskin, shown here as a young girl, said it's been a 'challenge' to be blamed for Don Lewis' disappearance. A majority of the claims took place after the release of Netflix's 'Tiger King.' (Big Cat Rescue)

Baskin claimed that prior to the release of the viral show, there were "only a handful of animal abusers and people who tried to take over our real estate business" who pointed a finger at her.

She now encourages "Tiger King" fans to give her online diary a look as it allegedly includes "all of the facts" about the case.

"I put links to court documents and conversations I had with police and all that information about the will and power of attorney being authenticated by three different firms who actually dealt with the original documents," she explained. "Those kinds of things can be found in my diary."

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The former "Dancing with the Stars" contestant has criticized Netflix's portrayal of her in the docuseries. She recently claimed to Fox News that she felt "betrayed" by her portrayal on the series, mainly due to the bitter rivalry it showed between her and Exotic.

"We worked with the producers for five years. When they came to us they said what they were working on was 'Blackfish' for big cats. 'Blackfish' showed just a horrible, horrible life for dolphins and whales being kept in these concrete pools. After it, the whole industry of whale shows and stealing whales and putting them in aquariums came to a halt. To do the same for big cats, we thought [a documentary] exposing how the cub petting is so cruel would be great," Baskin alleged.

Baskin claims producers failed to mention their decision to career off course. Instead of exposing big cat cruelty, she said Netflix created a show that spawned a feud with Exotic that doesn't exist.

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"They totally lied to us about what their end product was going to be," she said. "The whole premise behind [the show] was that it was a feud. For a feud, you have to have two people that are feuding. I've never had a conversation with Joe. I've never even spoken to him."

Netflix declined to comment on Baskin's allegations although the series' filmmakers Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode stood stood by their depiction of Baskin in an interview with the LA Times last year.