Tiger King star’s Dancing with the Stars debut overshadowed by ex-husband’s disappearance

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Tiger King star Carole Baskin made her debut on Dancing with the Stars in the US this week, but her appearance was eclipsed by an advert regarding her ex-husband’s death.

Ms Baskin, who appeared earlier this year in the Netflix documentary series Tiger King featuring the lives of those working with big cats in the US, danced a paso doble to The Eye of the Tiger on the ballroom dancing show on Monday night.

She strutted alongside professional dancer Pasha Pashkov in a number that started with him locked in a cage with stuffed tigers, and both wore tiger-print outfits during the routine. She managed a score of 11 but her performance was somewhat overshadowed.

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An ad break during her stint on the show featured an appeal from the family of her ex-husband Don Lewis for information about his disappearance and a £78,000 reward.

Television appeal for help

Carole Baskin danced a paso doble with Pasha Pashkov on the show, scoring 11 from the Dancing with the Stars judges (Photo: Kelsey McNeal/ABC/Getty)

He went missing in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002 although his body was never found.

It was alleged in the Tiger King series Ms Baskin had fed the body of Mr Lewis to tigers at her Big Cat Rescue centre in Florida.

She has categorically denied this on a number of occasions.

The advert, which featured Mr Lewis’s three daughters, Gale, Lynda and Donna and his former assistant Anne McQueen, was reportedly shown in the Tampa and Jacksonville areas of Florida.

Body never found

In it eldest daughter Donna said: “We need to know what happened to our father.”

Family lawyer John Phillips, who also appeared in the advert, said: “Don Lewis mysteriously disappeared in 1997, his family deserves answers, they deserve justice.

“Do you know who did this or if Carole Baskin was involved?”

‘Family deserves answers’

Mr Lewis was a self-made millionaire from property and used car businesses. Ms Baskin received most of his £4.5m estate after he was declared dead.

She issued a rebuttal after the Netflix series was aired stating: “Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments.

“But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance.

“When he disappeared, I did everything I could to assist the police.”