Carole Baskin sues Netflix for using footage of her in Tiger King 2

By Kelly Burke

Joe Exotic’s nemesis Carole Baskin may throw the second series of the hit Tiger King Netflix documentary into disarray after taking legal action in Tampa, Florida.

The founder of Big Cat Rescue and her husband, Howard Baskin, have accused Royal Goode Productions and Netflix of breach of contract by using footage of the couple in the trailer of Tiger King 2.

The second series of the stranger-than-fiction documentary is scheduled for release on 17 November.

According to Variety, the lawsuit was filed on Monday, with the couple arguing they only signed appearance release forms for the first series, which Carole Baskin later described as “a reality show dumpster fire”.

The lawsuit states: “By utilizing the film footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue secured by Royal Goode Productions under the Appearance Releases in ‘sizzle reels’ and promotional trailers for the sequel entitled ‘Tiger King 2,’ the Defendants are in breach of the terms of the Appearance Releases.”

The Baskins want Royal Goode Productions and Netflix to ditch all footage of them from Tiger King 2.

The lawsuit also claims that the first series was misleading in its depiction of Big Cat Rescue’s operations and unfairly accused the Baskins of animal abuse.

Carole Baskin is also claiming the first series perniciously implicated her in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997.

The Guardian has sought comment from Netflix in the US.

Millions of viewers became enthralled watching Tiger King, with the intense hatred between Joe Exotic, the showman owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, and animal conservationist Carole Baskin central to the real-life drama.

In 2018, Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was arrested and accused of hiring two men to murder Baskin.

The following year he was found guilty of multiple federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to a 22-year prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas.

Joe Exotic in the Netflix hit Tiger King.
Joe Exotic, the focus of the Netflix hit Tiger King, remains in jail. Photograph: Courtesy of Netflix

Exotic is currently appealing the harshness of the sentence and has sold his zoo.

In January this year, an Oklahoma federal judge ordered the new owners of zoo, Jeff and Lauren Lowe, to turn over all the lion and tiger cubs in their possession, along with the animals’ mothers, to the federal government, finding the animal park had violated the US’s Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act.

The Baskins have since collaborated with film-maker Michael Webber (The Elephant in the Living Room) for the 2021 documentary The Conservation Game.

Carole Baskin and Howard Baskin attend the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary The Conservation Game on 28 August.
Carole and Howard Baskin at the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary The Conservation Game on 28 August. Photograph: Araya Doheny/Getty Images for NightFly Entertainment, Ltd.