WATCH: Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband’s Family Buys Ad That Aired During Her ‘DWTS’ Premiere
The surviving daughters and former assistant of Don Lewis, the missing husband of Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, paid for a TV commercial plea for information regarding to their father’s 23-year-old disappearance. The commercial ran during a break for ABC’s Dancing With The Stars premiere where Baskin made her debut appearance on Monday night.
During a commercial break, where Baskin made an appearance alongside partner Pasha Pashkov, Lewis’ three daughters, Donna L. Pettis, Lynda L. Sanchez and Gale Rathbone, appeared on a self-paid commercial. They were portrayed alongside Anne McQueen, Lewis’ former assistant, and pleaded to viewers with any information about their fathers’ disappearance to come forward. John M. Phillips, their attorney, then went on to specifically ask, “Do you know who did this or if Carole Baskin was involved?”
The family filed a lawsuit against Baskin back in August and have offered a $100,000 reward for any evidence that could solve the mystery.
Baskin and Lewis’ marriage had gained national attention thanks to Baskin’s appearance on the docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, where Baskin was accused multiple times by co-star Joe Exotic, aka Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, of being responsible for her late husband’s disappearance. Maldonado-Passage, who is now serving a 22-year prison stint due to allegedly trying to hiring a hitman to assassinate Baskin, claims that Lewis was fed to her tigers by his wife. Lewis disappeared in 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002, with no sign of foul play discovered.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister had already also opened up the matter to the public earlier this year. However, he iterated to Time magazine that his officers do not “have any type of evidence, not one piece, that suggests that [Lewis] was killed” or “that a crime was even committed.” Chronister went on to state that he believes the docuseries exaggerated the likelihood of the theory that Baskin was implicit in Lewis’ death.
Baskin has denied the accusations made against her by Lewis’ family and Maldonado-Passage. In an E! interview, Baskin responded to Tiger King‘s insinuation of her involvement. “There are no words for how disappointing it is to see that the series not only does not do any of that but has instead chosen to be as salacious and sensational as possible to draw in viewers,” she said.