Joe urges public and journalists to ‘put down your pipe and use common sense’
Joe Exotic echoed Carole Baskin’s resurfaced claims that her ex-husband was found alive and said he was willing to bet his life that Don Lewis was dead.
The disgraced TV star, real name Joseph Maldonado, made headlines Thursday by sharing his thoughts on Lewis on Facebook after re-doing the interview with Baskin in November 2021.
In it, the animal rights activist claimed that the Department of Homeland Security had been in touch with Lewis for years and knew of his whereabouts. Lewis is in good health and lives in Central America, Baskin said.
Lewis was the source of much speculation in the Netflix series Tiger King, and Exotic kept suggesting that Baskin might have something to do with her ex’s disappearance. In a Thursday afternoon Facebook post he also shared a New York Post article about Baskin’s claims, Exotic announced, “If Don Lewis was alive, I would volunteer to go to death row.”
Exotic urged reporters and the public to “put down your pipes and use some common sense,” before continuing to try to advance his theory that Baskin was behind Lewis’ disappearance.
“Great stay in Costa Rica”
In a resurfaced interview, Carole Baskin said:
“One of the really exciting things about Tiger King 2 is that they produced a letter from the Department of Homeland Security saying that the FBI agent in charge of the Department of Homeland Security had contacted Detective George of the Sheriff [Jorge] Fernandez, that means it must have happened after 2002, because DHS didn’t show up until 2002. “
She added: “They say my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica.”
Asked if she was surprised he was still alive, Baskin replied: “I don’t think he can afford to support himself. He went to Costa Rica with about a million dollars and I agreed to let him do that so he You can prove to yourself that you can make a living.”
However, Baskin added that the balance was reduced to $80,000 because his “investments were so bad.”
TMZ posted a screenshot of what appears to be a DHS document confirming that Lewis is “alive.”
“[Redacted] It is understood that Don Lewis is currently alive and well in Costa Rica,” the letter read.
“After receiving this information, S/A [redacted] Hillsborough Detective Jorge Fernandez was contacted and informed of Lewis’ whereabouts.
“S/A [redacted] It is understood Lewis had borrowed money from various individuals in Costa Rica and was able to make a good living on the interest earned on those loans.
“Lewis can reside in Costa Rica indefinitely. This investigation will be concluded.”
fact-checking sites snoops Digging into the claim, and stating at the time of writing that Lewis is still alive “has not been confirmed”.