Carole Baskin, the nemesis of Joe Exotic, plans to sue Netflix for a breach of contract in using footage of her in the trailer for “Tiger King 2.”
Baskin and her husband, Howard Baskin, are taking legal action in Tampa, Fla., against Royal Goode Productions and Netflix, according to court documents obtained by USA TODAY. The couple claims they only signed appearance release forms for the first documentary and are seeking to take the case in front of a jury, while requesting all footage of Baskin be taken down in the meantime. The suit also seeks legal costs and future, unspecified relief.
“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,” Howard Baskin said in a statement provided to USA TODAY. “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.”
Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue, was a central character in the first season of the reality documentary that vaulted Baskin into fame – including an appearance on “Dancing with the Stars.” But Baskin wants nothing to do with the second season, set to be released Nov. 17. She’s been vocal about her disdain for the show, which she called a “reality show dumpster fire” in September.
“Understanding that the Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ use of the footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue to the single, initial documentary motion picture, the Baskins believed that any sequel – though odious – would not include any of their footage,” the lawsuit document reads.
“The Baskins are aware that they cannot control the stories that may be spun by defendants no matter how misleading, distorted, unethical, and libelous. But, the Baskins should not be forced to be involuntary participants in this endeavor
through the unauthorized use of the film footage. This film footage alone gives the
false impression that the Baskins endorse or, at least agreed to participate in ‘Tiger King 2.'”
Exotic was convicted and imprisoned in a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Baskin.
The first season of “Tiger King” showcased Baskin and Exotic (Joseph Maldonado-Passage), a private zoo operator who was successfully sued by Baskin over his use of her Big Cat Rescue name and claiming she offered cub petting for profit.
Messages made to Netflix were not immediately returned when contacted by USA TODAY on Tuesday morning.