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Carole Baskin suing Netflix over footage and her interviews that were used in Tiger King 2

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The founder of a Florida big cat sanctuary who appeared on the popular series Tiger King is suing Netflix and a production company to block the use of interviews and footage she shares in an upcoming sequel.

Big Cat Rescue founder Carol Baskin has confirmed that Royal Goode Productions, which produced Tiger King for Netflix, led her and her husband, Howard Baskin, to believe their footage would only be used in one documentary.

However, Netflix says Ms Baskin and her husband have agreed in writing that the material may be used in the future and that it is trying to block the company’s First Amendment right to free speech.

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The new season is expected to launch in the United States on November 17, according to court documents.

In the lawsuit, Baskins said they were under the impression that their interviews were for the first season of the show.

“The Baskins believed that any sequel, while obnoxious, would not include any of their shots,” the lawsuit said.

Baskin also objects to its portrayal in the first series, particularly insinuating that it has something to do with the mysterious 1997 disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis, who was declared dead in 2002 but whose remains were never found.

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On Tuesday, Baskin declined further comment but spoke to the Associated Press recently about an upcoming two-part series called Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight that aims to draw attention to the problems of zoos allowing tigers to be petted and private property ownership of animals.

“Nobody’s ever deceived us, and we’re never going to be honest with us like the Tiger King producers,” Baskin told The Associated Press.

“And so it was just a coincidence. I mean, it wasn’t like it was our first experience and we wouldn’t do it again.”

“It was like, ‘Okay, okay, that was horrible, but that’s just them. This is not the industry.”

Netflix, said Baskins explicitly agreed in a written statement that all of their interviews and footage filmed at the Tampa cat shelter can be used in future projects.

Netflix’s lawyers also said that tampering with the sequel amounted to an unconstitutional prior restriction of the right to free speech, and the Baskins family could only file a damages claim after it aired.

“The defendants did not need to obtain an exoneration from the plaintiffs for using the footage in Tiger King 2 or the promotional trailers,” Netflix attorney Rachel Foggt said in court documents.

Foggt said the Baskins family “has absolutely no claim, let alone one that could be evaded.” [the] Protecting First Amendment Defendants.”

The lawyers also said in their filing that Ms. Baskin had used Tiger King’s popularity for her own propaganda purposes, even appearing on the US version of the TV show Dancing With The Stars and becoming a “popular culture phenomenon” because of the programme.

As of Tuesday afternoon, local time, the Tampa federal judge overseeing the lawsuit had not issued any ruling.

Portrait of a blond man with a mustache and a shin with a tiger's head.
Joe Exotic, real name Joe Maldonado-Passage, is in prison for trying to organize a hitman to kill Carol Baskin.(Supplied: Netflix)

The lawsuit is the latest development in this saga that includes Ms. Baskin and Joe Exotic – real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage – who have been at the center of the documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.

Aired in March 2020 – just as the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay home – the first series was hugely popular.

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Much of the series centered on a feud between Baskin and Maldonado Passage over the treatment of tigers, lions, and other big cats at the Oklahoma Zoo he previously ran.

Maldonado Passage is in prison after being convicted of trying to hire someone to kill Mrs. Baskin, a story told in the initial series.

An appeals court recently ruled that his 22-year prison sentence should be reduced.

He is being held in a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas.

Maldonado-Passage announced last week that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer and asked people to pray for him.

AP / ABC

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