Carole Baskin and her husband Howard are suing Netflix for breaching their contract after footage of the couple was included in the trailer for ‘Tiger King 2’ allegedly without permission.
Baskin and her husband are taking legal action in Tampa, Florida against Royal Goode Productions and Netflix according to court documents that were obtained, reports USA Today.
According to BBC News, their lawsuit states that the couple only signed appearance release forms for the first season of the Netflix documentary series.
“The Baskins believed that any sequel – though odious – would not include any of their footage,” a spokesman said. Netflix declined to give a comment when they were contacted by BBC News.
The lawsuit states that: “By utilising 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.”
Further, the lawsuit also expressed that the first series gave an untrue impression of the work of Big Cat Rescue and with that, the Baskins was accused of animal abuse.
“The Tiger King 1 series wrongly attempted to suggest that Big Cat Rescue abused its animals by keeping them in very small cages while not making clear that the animals actually reside in expansive enclosures,” the legal papers state.
“Perhaps most pernicious is the overarching implication in Tiger King 1 that Carole Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997,” the papers say.
Baskin denies that she had anything to do with the disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis. The new series begins on November 17 and is set to cover “newfound revelations… on the motivations, backstories, and secrets of America’s most notorious big cat owners”, Netflix said in a statement last week.
The trailer reveals the campaign to release Exotic from prison and the plot to kill Baskin. In 2018, Exotic, the owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was arrested and accused of hiring two men to in fact murder Baskin.
In 2019, he was also found guilty of multiple federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder, which had him sentenced to prison for 22-years in Fort Worth, Texas. Exotic is currently appealing his sentence and has sold his zoo.
In January the new owners of the zoo, Jeff and Lauren Lowe, were ordered by the federal court to release all the lion and tiger cubs in their possession, along with the animals’ mothers, to the federal government. The animal park was accused of violating the US’s Endangered Species Act and the Animal Welfare Act.
The Baskins have since collaborated with the filmmaker, Michael Webber on the 2021 documentary The Conservation Game.