Carole Baskin joined Sarah Ruhlman, host of The Sarah Scoop Show, to share the inside scoop on many things related to Tiger King. Sarah got the scoop from Carole Baskin about the truth behind her controversy with Joe Exotic.
The Legal Feud with Joe Exotic
“Joe and I have never had a conversation,” says Baskin. “I’ve only ever even seen him I think four times maybe in court?”
Pre-Tiger King, Exotic was into some shady business practices, including charging patrons across various malls in Florida to pet cubs infected with ringworm.
When Baskin contacted the malls to shut Exotic’s dangerous operations down, Exotic threatened to brand his future business ventures with Baskin’s sanctuary name as revenge.
From an old post on Facebook, Baskin recalls that Exotic said that “When you go out and criticize us, people will think it’s you and you will ruin your name all by yourself.” Baskin had no choice but to sue him for intellectual property infringement.
Exotic’s Vile Plans for Baskin
Exotic seemed to fixate on a one-sided quarrel between himself and Baskin. This reached the point of putting bounties on Baskin’s head calling for her death.
Over fifteen years, Exotic contacted many people to kill Baskin for him. Exotic coaxed people by saying “she’s gonna come and take your pets, you’ve gotta put a bullet in her head to stop her.”
Since nobody would do it for free, Exotic began offering monetary compensation to convince someone to kill her. The people Exotic contacted would go on to warn Baskin about Exotic’s dark plans for her.
When Baskin connected the authorities about these death threats, they did not take her seriously. Exotic would later face justice at his hand when he accidentally outed his murder schemes to the FBI.
The FBI happened to be investigating him for an unrelated case. Exotic then tried to hire an undercover FBI agent to kill Baskin but had no such luck.
Tiger King Producers Add Fuel to the Fire
When making Tiger King, the producers attempted to bait Baskin into saying negative things about Exotic. The producers wanted to paint a narrative of Exotic being the hero and Baskin being the villain. Baskin shares a theory as to why the producers did this.
“They had pitched this, I think, to Netflix as a feud, where I had never said anything bad about Joe. I had talked about the issues, talked about cub abuse, talked about tiger abuse, in the same way I do with all of these people that are harming animals, but I wouldn’t say anything negative about him [Joe] personally.”
When the Tiger King producers couldn’t get Baskin to feed into their plot, they had to change their approach for the final product.
“If she won’t join in this feud, then we have to paint her as the person who drove him to madness,” says Baskin about the producers’ thought process for her role in the show.
“It was really just shocking to me that they twisted everything into creating what became a very popular hit series,” says Baskin about the finished Tiger King show.
Where are they Now?
In 2021, Baskin is thriving. Coming off her short time on Dancing with the Stars, Baskin revealed that she is working on a new television show. Baskin describes the show as “the kind of work we’ve always been doing.”
They will gather evidence to expose individuals or organizations abusing big cats, report them to the authorities, and put pressure on the authorities to take action. The show has sold as a pilot, with negotiations for future episodes underway.
Meanwhile, Exotic currently resides in the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. He appealed to former President Donald Trump for a pardon but did not receive one.
Get the scoop on Carole Baskin and all things big cats by checking out this week’s episode of The Sarah Scoop Podcast.