Carole Baskin Claims Husband Don Lewis Was Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder Months Before He Vanished
The same week that the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said that the signature on Don Lewis' will was forged, his ex Carole Baskin said she found evidence he'd been hiding a bipolar disorder diagnosis from her.
“Last night I found Don's diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder and his prescription to have an MRI done at St. Joseph's Hospital on 6/23/1997,” Baskin wrote in a Thursday Facebook post. “The diagnosis was just 8 days after he filed for the unnecessary restraining order and less than 2 months before his disappearance.”
Lewis tried to file for a restraining order against Baskin in 1997 claiming she threatened to kill him, according to Netflix’s viral hit “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness," which featured theories that Baskin played a role in Lewis' disappearance. Baskin has vehemently denied that accusation.
Baskin wrote in a blog post refuting the docuseries' allegations that the restraining order filing was Lewis' attempt to stop her from throwing out the junk that he'd been hoarding on the property. She attributed that to his declining mental health and said she never threatened him. The restraining order was denied and Lewis vanished two months later.
She updated that blog post with documents she says prove his bipolar diagnosis.
“Don had hidden that diagnosis from me so he wasn't getting the medication he needed,” Baskin stated. “I still thought it was Alzheimer's and had scheduled him for an appointment with a specialist in late August, which was the first available date, but by then he was gone.”
The mental health statements come the same week that a spokesperson for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told Oxygen.com that Lewis’ will, which granted Baskin power over his estate, had been forged. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister told WTSP in Tampa this week that two experts recently deemed the signature on the will to be “100 percent a forgery.”
Baskin claimed on her blog that the will, along with related documents, were authenticated by at least two expert firms. She said everyone in the conservatorship agreed to their authenticity. She declined to comment on the forgery claims when contacted by Oxygen.com, instead redirecting inquiries to the aforementioned blog post. On it, she writes that both the will and power of attorney were executed by her ex-husband in 1992 naming her as his sole heir.
Lewis' former lawyer Joseph Fritz told Fox News in May that he thought Lewis’ signature was traced onto the will from his client's 1991 marriage license. Fritz's theory fueled even more rumors and speculation about Lewis' vanishing.
Lewis was declared legally dead in 2002. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced in April that he believes Lewis’ disappearance was a homicide.
“Don was not easy to live with and like most couples we had our moments," Baskin previously wrote on her blog. "But I never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance."
It has been a busy week for Baskin. Earlier this week, she was also awarded her rival Joe Exotic's former zoo. Their years-long feud was documented in “Tiger King" and he is currently incarcerated for trying to have her killed. The ruling is the result of a $1 million trademark lawsuit that Baskin previously won against Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage.