‘DWTS’: [Spoiler] Eliminated as New Details About Carole Baskin’s Missing Husband Surface
Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars gifted viewers with a whimsical night full of Disney magic. Among the performances came a few hits and misses. But, some of it was out shadowed by new evidence regarding the case of Tiger King star Carole Baskin’s missing husband, Don Lewis.
[Spoilers for DWTS Season 29 ahead]
‘Dancing with the Stars’ ‘Disney Night’ came with mixed reviews
Every season, DWTS holds its annual “Disney Night,” and that didn’t change this time around. The Sept. 28 episode showcased couples dancing to all things Disney — complete with set design and costumes.
The top-scoring couples deemed “safe” were: Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart, Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson, Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev, Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko, Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong, and Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd.
In the mid-range scores, AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke, Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy, and Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess made the cut.
Baskin and Pasha Pashkov, Nelly and Daniella Karagach, Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe, Justina Machado and Sasha Farber, and Skai Jackson and pro Alan Bersten landed in the bottom.
The judges saved Heche and Motsepe, sending Baskin and Pashkov packing after their Lion King “Circle of Life” performance failed to deliver. Their score was 12/30.
Baskin had a message for those rooting against her
After the elimination, Baskin had parting words for her haters via Entertainment Tonight.
“I love you both, because you’ve all kept it in the press,” she said. “With all the horrible things that have been said and all the wonderful things that have been said, people are talking about big cats and why they don’t belong in cages, and nothing could make me happier than that.”
She continued: “The people who stayed on the show can really, really dance, and that’s what the show is all about. I had no expectations about what this would be like, other than I didn’t think anybody could teach me to dance in a million years.”
Baskin — the Big Cat Rescue owner — participated to help bring awareness about big cats in captivity.
“I’m thankful that Dancing With the Stars gave me the opportunity for getting the message out there about big cats,” Baskin said. “So I’ve accomplished everything I came here to do. I think this has been an amazing opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and get my message out there.”
New details emerge in Carole Baskin’s missing husband case
Baskin’s departure may have come just in time, as gossip site TMZ reports that an old letter of Baskin’s resurfaced. In it, Baskin said she “would have eventually killed” her first husband, Michael Murdock to escape the marriage.
The letter (allegedly meant for Don Lewis’ first wife Gladys) details Baskin’s relationship with Lewis. Baskin confirmed the validity of the letter, saying she did write the letter. She added, “I only meant it in the context of self-defense as Mike Murdock was physically abusive to me to the point of causing me to fear for my life.”
Baskin’s claims that Murdock was abusive were mentioned in Tiger King. The two married in 1979 and had one daughter, Jamie. In a new Investigation Discovery special, Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up, retired homicide detective Jim Rothmann details the Lewis case. He said Baskin wrote the letter seven years before Lewis disappeared.
Rathmann told Fox News cadaver dogs helped search one of the Lewis lake houses
“That area near the lake house is going to be explored further,” Rathmann said. “So there’s a lot of information that we’re going to reveal that that hasn’t been heard and that a lot of people are going to be surprised when they see this thing.”
Rathmann explained that the special will give viewers another look at the evidence.
“You know, it’s amazing. 23 years this case was completely unheard of other than the very initial stages,” Rathmann said. “Completely unheard of. And then everybody watched that Joe Exotic saga several months ago [on Netflix] and boom, this is on a worldwide stage. Everybody’s focused on it.”
The investigator elaborated, stating “There were several people that actually have been holding onto information for many years, hoping that this day would come one way or another.”
Rathmann spoke with Trish Farr — the ex-wife of Kenny Farr, who was Lewis’ handyman — which revealed new details about property transfers “only one month and a few days after Don Lewis disappeared.”
Baskin’s current husband, Howard Baskin, quickly came to his wife’s defense.
“Carole did not ‘give’ Kenny valuable properties for $9,000 as the show implies,” reads the statement via Fox News. “Kenny wanted to try to get into the same kind of real estate business that Carole had done, i.e. renting out residential properties.”
He continued: “The price he paid would be any down payment he made, which likely was very modest, and whatever mortgage Carole would have taken back that he was obligated to make payments on out of the rental income. If he did not make the payments she would take back the properties.”
“The other issue is assigning value. Some of these may have been properties worth far less than what might have shown up on tax assessment. The idea that this was some kind of ‘payoff’ to Kenny is nonsense,” he ended the statement.
Lewis disappeared in 1997 and declared legally dead five years later. Baskin maintains her innocence. We’ll continue to update as more information on the still-developing case becomes available.