Tiger King star Carole Baskin said her late husband Don Lewis originally pretended to be someone else and used a fake name while he hid her from his wife.
Big Cat Rescue boss Baskin, 59, was married to millionaire businessman Lewis when he disappeared in 1997. He was declared legally dead in 2002 and Baskin has repeatedly denied claims she was involved.
The Dancing On Ice star has now recalled their early relationship and claimed Lewis went to drastic lengths to hide their affair from his first wife.
During an appearance on Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People podcast, Baskin said: “It’s so bizarre. You’re talking about Don. And so I met Don in 1981 and when I met him, he told me his name was Bob Martin.
“And that he was just a poor lot boy that worked for this really evil guy, Don Lewis. So when I would go to the lot where he worked, that we had a little trailer, a little RV in the back that we would meet in and he told me I’d have to hide under the dashboard as he drove me in and out of the lot, because we were hiding from Don.
“Well, I didn’t know, for two or three years that we were hiding from Don’s wife, not Don, and that Bob Martin was Don.”
Baskin, who married current husband Howard in 2004, also alleged Lewis had other partners as she revealed risque details of their private life.
“What I didn’t know was that he had all of these other girlfriends,” she said. “I think it was, I learned in Tiger King that his wife said he had 23 other girlfriends, and I’m like ’23?!’ And we were having sex like two or three times a day – when does he have time?”
Baskin shot to fame after appearing in Netflix’s breakout hit Tiger King. It followed her running dispute with flamboyant zoo owner Joe Exotic, who was later jailed for plotting to have her murdered.
To many fans of the show, Baskin was the villain. Speaking on Piper’s podcast, she hit out at how producers portrayed her in the series, saying it was “done in such a deceitful, deceitful way”.
Baskin said: “They would ask me a question and sometimes they’d ask me that question, like five different ways and I’d answer them five different ways, but you know, the same answer, but I didn’t understand why they were doing it.
“Well, when I saw Tiger King, what I saw was they would ask one question and then they’d use my answer from something totally different to answer that question … to make it look like I had said something just totally cruel or inappropriate. And there’s just nothing more deceitful than that in calling yourself a documentary.”
Listen to the full interview on Katie Piper’s Extraordinary People podcast, out now.