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Last week, the world was plunged back into the murky waters of Tiger King discourse thanks to a very surprising revelation:

Don Lewis — the husband of Carole Baskin who disappeared in 1997 — had reportedly been found alive and well in Costa Rica.

Now, if you actually clicked on any of the articles that were circulating on Twitter, you’d find that Lewis was still missing, and that this ground had already been covered extensively in a little-seen 2021 sequel, imaginatively titled Tiger King 2.

But Baskin was a fan of the theory for the obvious reason that if Lewis is still alive, then she couldn’t have murdered him and fed him to her tigers.

Carole Baskin In Tiger King
Did Carole Baskin really kill her husband and feed him to tigers? The Tiger King star says she has evidence of her innocence. (Photo via Netflix)

That was the theory put forth by Carole’s number one rival, the Tiger King himself, Joe Exotic.

Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence on murder for hire charges.

But the pesky matter of his incarceration didn’t prevent Joe from sounding off on the exaggerated reports of Don Lewis’ aliveness.

Meet Joe Exotic
Joe Exotic from the new Netflix Docuseries, “Tiger King” poses with one of his tigers. The show chronicles his downfall and his 21-year federal prison sentence for his murder-for-hire scheme on Carole Baskin in 2017 and for multiple violations of wildlife laws. (Photo via Instagram)

“Don Lewis is NOT alive, I have her original diary and trust me she hated him so bad she could not kill him fast enough,” Exotic said this week in an email to Radar Online.

“When this story came out, I said I would voluntarily move to death row if he was alive and it made world headlines,” he added.

“I investigated her so much I am 100% sure she, her father who is now passed away and …. killed Don Lewis and ground him up.”

Joe Exotic Mugshot
Joe Exotic will likely remain in prison for the next couple of decades. But he’s still finding ways to stir up controversy on the inside.

Exotic does seem to have a point regarding Baskin’s claim that Lewis is still alive.

That theory seems to be based on nothing more than a discovery she made in 2002 of an undated Department of Homeland Security containing a report that Lewis had been spotted in Costa Rica.

The agency was never able to corroborate those claims, and subsequent investigations by the Tampa’s Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office turned up no sign of Lewis.

Carole Baskin And a Tiger
Carole Baskin is one of the stars of the Netflix documentary Tiger King. But it seems she was less than thrilled with her portrayal in the series. (Photo via Netflix)

“We know he’s not alive OK,” said Jack “Ripper” Smith a spokesperson for Lewis’ family.

“It’s very disturbing because the family is getting messages from people telling them, ‘Congratulations!'” Smith tells Radar. “The family is distraught.”

Exotic, meanwhile, claims this is all a stunt orchestrated by Baskin in the hope of raising money for her animal sanctuary.

Joe Exotic and Friend
The saga of Joe Exotic has captured the hearts of a quarantined nation. (Photo via Netflix)

“Carole did not think this stunt through very well but that is what she has done for the last 22 years,” Exotic alleged in his email to the outlet.

“Anything she can to get in the press to raise money for her roadside zoo, which is only a front to scam money.”

Exotic continued to rant against Baskin, accusing her of failing to properly

Carole Baskin on the Show Tiger King
Carole Baskin may have killed her husband. She denies these accusations, however. (Photo via Netflix)

“She pulled this stunt not thinking that if he was alive, she would have to give all that insurance money back and give all property to him and his daughters,” he alleged.

“She is who designed his will, she is the one who reported him missing, she is the one who had him legally declared dead.”

We’ll have further updates on this story as new information becomes available.