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Netflix responds to Carole Baskin’s Tiger King 2 lawsuit

Carole Baskin has ‘no claim at all’ in a lawsuit against Netflix over the use of footage of her in Tiger King 2, the streaming giant has said (Netflix/PA)
Carole Baskin has ‘no claim at all’ in a lawsuit against Netflix over the use of footage of her in Tiger King 2, the streaming giant has said (Netflix/PA)

Carole Baskin has “no claim at all” in a lawsuit against Netflix over the use of footage of her in Tiger King 2, the streaming giant has said.

Baskin and her husband Howard launched legal action against Netflix and production company Royal Goode Productions alleging breach of contract.

The wildlife conservation advocate, who argues she was unfairly portrayed in the first season of wildly popular documentary series Tiger King, objects to appearing in the latest instalment.

Netflix's Tiger King
Joe Exotic starred in documentary series Tiger King, which proved to be a massive hit for Netflix (Netflix/PA)

Baskin, 60, filed a lawsuit in Florida saying she only signed appearance release forms for the original episodes, which prominently explored the mysterious disappearance of her previous husband.

She and Howard are demanding the footage of them be removed from Tiger King 2.

Netflix and Royal Goode Productions have now responded and called for the motion to be denied.

Baskin and her husband signed releases in 2019 that “explicitly permit” the use of the footage in later projects, according to a court filing.

The motion should be denied as it “strikes at the heart of the First Amendment” of the US Constitution protecting free speech, Netflix argued.

An evidentiary hearing in the case is “futile” due to the “insurmountable constitutional hurdle”, the streamer said.

Netflix's Tiger King
Joe Exotic is in prison but will appear in the second series of Tiger King (Netflix/PA)

The filing, which said Baskin became a “pop culture phenomenon” as a result of Tiger King, added she had “no claim at all” and her “breach of contract claim is merely a red herring, lacking any merit”.

Netflix has already scored a legal victory in the case. A Florida judge denied a motion for a temporary restraining order that would block footage of Baskin and her husband in the second season of Tiger King.

The judge ruled that the Baskins “are not entitled to the extraordinary remedy of a temporary restraining order, which would be entered before Defendants have had an adequate opportunity to respond”, according to court documents.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, And Madness arrived on Netflix in March 2020 and exploded in popularity while much of the world was in lockdown.

It told the story of Baskin’s nemesis, the flamboyant big cat enthusiast Joe Exotic.

He was sentenced in January 2020 to 22 years in federal prison after being convicted of trying to hire two different men to kill Baskin.

An appeals court has since ruled Exotic should receive a shorter sentence.

Baskin vehemently denies any wrongdoing in the unsolved 1997 disappearance of her ex-husband Don Lewis.

The second season of Tiger King will stream on Netflix from November 17.

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