JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was a first for the hit reality TV show Dancing with the Stars -- a commercial running during the show, questioning whether one of the contestants is involved in a missing persons case.
The commercial ran just before Carole Baskin, a star of the Netflix documentary Tiger King, performed on the show to the song Eye of the Tiger.
The family of her former husband -- millionaire Don Lewis, who disappeared 23 years ago, appeared in the commercial.
Local attorney John Phillips represents Lewis' daughters and his former assistant. He said the point of the ad was to get people talking about the case.
Baskin told Entertainment Tonight that she has nothing to say to the family about the ad.
“It’s just been a huge publicity stunt on their part, so what more could they possibly do than that?” she said on ET.
“It was,” Phillips told News4Jax. “It was a publicity stunt for Don Lewis. It absolutely was.”
The ad ran here in Jacksonville and in Tampa, where Baskin owns Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary.
Baskin sees the advertisement as a positive.
“I’m not worried what people say because even when what their saying is negative, it’s keeping the conversation out there and in the public eye, and as long as I can keep that conversation out there, I can keep the cats in the spotlight and that’s my goal,” Baskin told ET.
The ad cost the siblings $6,500, and they too see it as a positive.
Their attorney said the phone immediately started ringing.
“Millions of people are talking about Don Lewis, and not, not how she (Baskin) did dancing with the stars,” Phillips said.
Baskin has repeatedly denied any involvement in her husband’s disappearance, and she’s never been named as a suspect.