'Dancing With the Stars': Carole Baskin Responds to Lawsuit From Don Lewis' Family

Dancing With the Stars contestant Carole Baskin has responded to the new lawsuit filed by her ex-husband Don Lewis' family. The defamation suit was filed by Lewis' three daughters — Gale, Lynda, and Donna, and his former executive assistant, Anne McQueen. The women allege Baskin was "complicit with jokes" about Lewis' death when DWTS "judges brought up TikTok videos inspired by her storyline in Tiger King."

Now, Baskin has addressed the lawsuit, exclusively telling ET that she hasn't made light of the situation at all. "I haven't made any kind of jokes about Don's disappearance and it's been a very personal thing to me for years," she said, adding how she regularly gets messages on Cameo — a celebrity messaging app — related to Lewis' death. "On Cameo, people reach out to me all the time and they want me to say things about that and I just decline their request because I'm not going to make fun of something that was so painful for all of us."

In addition to the DTWS comments, the lawsuit also notes during a recent appearance on Good Morning America, Baskin stated she would "really kill it next week" on Dancing With the Stars.

Baskin tells ET that she only learned about the lawsuit "right before" she had to go out to perform in the DWTS ballroom. She says that she even kept the news from her dance partner, Pasha Pashkov. "You have to ask them what their thinking is and why they would continue to do this," Baskin said. She then added that the news "didn't stop me from doing my best as I did last week."

In 1997, Lewis went missing, and in 2002 Baskin declared him legally dead. Baskin has been accused of being involved in Lewis disappearance. Some have even theorized she may have killed Lewis and fed his body to the tigers at her rescue, but no concrete evidence of this was ever presented. It has also been speculated that Lewis could have fled the country to live in Costa Rica. However, investigators have stated that, based on the evidence available, it is unlikely that Lewis simply disappeared on his own. Baskin has maintained that she is innocent of any wrongdoing and had no involvement in Lewis' disappearance.