Family Of Don Lewis, Carole Baskin’s Missing Ex-Husband, Make Public Plea During Her ‘DWTS’ Debut

Carole Baskin appears on Tiger King.
Netflix

The family of Carole Baskin’s long-missing ex-husband is making a public plea for information in his disappearance — and using the attention of the Tiger King star’s debut on Dancing with the Stars to help with the case.

As TMZ reported, the family of Don Lewis purchased ad space during Baskin’s debut on the ABC celebrity dance competition on Monday, asking the public for any information that could help solve the case. Lewis, who went missing in 1997, was declared legally dead in 2002.

The commercial time was reportedly purchased by John Phillips, an attorney working with those close to Lewis. As the report noted, his loved ones were not happy about Baskin being cast on Dancing with the Stars after her feature on the popular Netflix docu-series Tiger King, where many saw her as an antagonist.

After the debut of the series, many fans circulated theories that Baskin was in some way involved with the disappearance of her ex-husband, including some close to her. Joseph Maldonado-Passage — known to fans of the Netflix show as fellow big cat breeder Joe Exotic — reportedly reached out with information that he said could help with the renewed search for the long-lost millionaire.

As TMZ reported in August, Lewis’ loved ones had also put up a series of billboards calling for any potential leads in his case and offering a $100,000 reward. The billboards, put up across the Tampa area, read “Who Murdered Don Lewis?”

This summer, they also announced a lawsuit against Baskin and calling for justice for the long-missing Lewis.

“Amazingly, our little family tragedy has become your tragedy. Our search for closure and truth has become your mission also,” the missing man’s youngest daughter, Gale Rathbone, said at a press conference, via Complex. “We all know by now that [Lewis] was not a perfect man. But do only the perfect among us deserve justice?… For 23 years, I’ve gone to bed every night knowing the only chance I have of seeing him again is in my dreams. For 23 years, I’ve woken every morning to the heartbreak of his strange disappearance.”

Complex also reported that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida reopened the investigation, though there was no evidence that Baskin was considered a suspect.

Baskin is also reportedly using the attention from her Netflix appearance to boost her bid to win Dancing with the Stars. As The Inquisitr noted, her first night will feature her dancing to the Survivor song “Eye Of The Tiger.”