The animal rights activist, 59, made her ballroom debut on the ABC competition show on Monday, September 14, but was met with pushback from her former husband’s family. During the two-hour episode, an ad featuring Lewis’ daughters, Gale, Lynda and Donna, his attorney, John Phillips, and his former assistant, Anne McQueen, asked for help finding out more about the millionaire’s disappearance. The family offered a $100,000 reward for any information about the case.
On Thursday, September 17, Baskin told TMZ that she thought the commercial was “wonderful,” despite suspicion that she might have had something to do with Lewis vanishing. The Big Cat Rescue CEO added that it would be a nice “side benefit” if her time on DWTS was able to help Lewis’ family find peace.
Baskin was married to Lewis from 1991 to 2002, when he was legally declared dead five years after going missing. Carole, who married Howard Baskin in 2004, was accused of killing Lewis by rival Joe Exotic. Though she has denied any involvement multiple times, the mastery is a major story line in Netflix’s Tiger King documentary.
Despite the drama surrounding her portrayal in the popular docuseries, Carole was ready to leave it all on the ballroom floor. Before tackling her first dance, the reality star detailed the biggest challenges she’s faced so far in the rehearsal process.
“[Rehearsals] made me aware of muscles that I didn’t have. There’s an awful lot of things that ache!” she told Us Weekly and other reporters earlier this month, joking that she has “absolutely no dance background.”
The Texas native had already been working hard to stay fit before joining the cast of DWTS but wasn’t quite prepared for the fast-paced practice environment of the long-running series.
“I’ve always been really determined and extremely competitive within myself,” she explained. “I think the most challenging aspect is that I’m a workaholic — I work seven days, 70 hours a week. To be limited to three to four hours of rehearsals has been so difficult for me. I want to rehearse all day, every day until I get it right.”