Former “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin made her “Dancing with the Stars” debut on Monday night – and her past was unexpectedly unearthed during a hiatus in the show. An advertisement that requests information about, aired in local Florida markets during the first episode. Lewis’s family and their lawyer appeared on the scene.
Lewis, who passed away in 1997, was married to Baskin, who owns a big cat rescue in Florida. During the 2020 Netflix documentary series “Tiger King,” a rival rescue owner known as Joe Exotic claimed that Baskin killed Lewis and even claimed he put him in a meat grinder and fed him to his big cats. Baskin denied the allegations and was never charged with a crime, but fans of the docuseries raged on it.
“We miss our father,” Lynda said in the announcement.
“We need to know what happened to our father,” Donna said.
“Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997. His family deserves answers. They deserve justice,” said Phillips. “Do you know who it was, or if Carole Baskin was involved?”
The family revealed a $ 100.00 reward for information in connection with Lewis’s disappearance, encouraging viewers to call their top line.
In a YouTube video released Monday before the “DWTS” premiere, Phillips revealed that the announcement would air, calling it a “public service announcement”. The lawyer said that while Lewis’s story has received widespread attentionand “Tiger King”, “the real question remains”.
“Anyone out there knows. We need help. We need help solving this problem,” Phillips said. “Does anyone know more about Don’s last hours on Earth and we should be worried about what happened. We should all be worried and we should all help solve this cold case.”
Phillips also held ain Tampa on Monday, announcing an independent investigation into Lewis’s disappearance, the Associated Press reported.
He said that on behalf of the Lewis family, he filed a lawsuit against Baskin, who was Lewis’s second wife, in an attempt to depose her and get her to speak on the record. Phillips and his family also paid for the Tampa area billboards asking about the case.
Lewis went missing a day before a planned trip to Costa Rica and his body was never found. He was declared legally dead in 2002. He and Baskin started the animal sanctuary, which later became Big Cat Rescue Corp. in Tampa, Florida.