In her complaint filed Monday in federal court in Florida, Baskin says she was “shocked” when the official trailer released last week “prominently portrayed” her as a “central” figure of the upcoming sequel. She claims the new follow-up series repurposes her interview material from the original docuseries without proper consent, after she “steadfastly” rejected any role in Tiger King 2, telling producers, “No, and lose my number.”
The new lawsuit, which includes Carole’s husband Howard Baskin as a co-plaintiff, alleges breach of contract and asks for a restraining order halting release of the sequel, as well as a jury trial.
In a statement filed with the complaint, Carole says the offending footage in the official trailer released Oct. 27 was filmed on-site at her Big Cat Rescue sanctuary between 2014 and 2019, back when she granted access to producers while cooperating with the original documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. She claims the appearance releases she signed with Royal Goode Productions related to those interviews mentioned only “a single documentary motion picture project.”
According to Carole, she only agreed to cooperate with Royal Goode producers because she believed they were making a big-cat version of Blackfish, the award-winning documentary exposing mistreatment of captive killer whales. When Tiger King debuted last year and became a pop-culture phenomenon, she was highly critical of what she considered her portrayal as a “villain,” and suggestions that she played a role in her first husband’s 1997 disappearance.
She claims since the latest trailer was released, she and her husband have “experienced a marked uptick in hateful social media and internet comments.”
“Because of Tiger King 1, I believe that millions of its viewers believe me to be a murderer,” she writes in her new paperwork. “This damage to my reputation not only causes me personal emotional distress but also has adversely impacted my ability to advocate for big cats.” She claims she’s been publicly ridiculed with the “false innuendo” that she’s a murderer and includes in her filing an image of a T-shirt allegedly sold through Walmart’s online platform that features a drawing of a tiger with the phrase, “Carole Did It.”
Netflix and a rep for producer Eric Goode did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Monday.
In an email statement to Rolling Stone, Howard Baskin says both he and Carole made it clear to the sequel’s producers that they “had no desire or intent to be involved in TK2.”
“While we cannot stop Netflix and Royal Goode Productions from producing low-brow, salacious and sensational programing, we do believe that we have the right to control footage filmed of us under false pretenses,” he said. “We like to believe that most Americans will agree that we should be entitled to protect our reputations in this manner and hold entertainment giants to their word.”