Carole Baskin breaks down on 'DWTS' and claims media portrayal has hurt her family

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Tiger King celebrity Carole Baskin broke down in a rare display of emotion on Dancing With the Stars. The CEO of Big Cat Rescue has been the subject of much speculation in the unsolved disappearance of former husband Don Lewis. On Tuesday’s show, she revealed just how difficult it has been to be constantly portrayed as a villain.

“All of the negative media attention that came out of Tiger King was extremely difficult because of the fact that my family was struggling so much with it,” said Baskin. She went on to blame the constant media scrutiny for her daughter’s lack of faith in journalism.

Baskin is no stranger to the camera, often appearing in videos to promote the animal rescue that she runs. However, she is almost exclusively upbeat and positive whenever she is in a public setting.

“I've seen what the media can do to you and I hate that,” she said. “I try even harder to be strong in their presence — I keep it inside, and wait until everybody is gone before I can break down.”

Displays of emotions are so rare for Baskin that she actually warned her family prior to the show airing. She said, “I actually had to contact my family and say ‘be prepared,’ because I try not to ever cry in front of them, even. To break down in front of everybody, it's — it's really out of character for me and difficult.”

Baskin advanced despite finding herself in the bottom two of scoring. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough chose her over former NBA player Charles Oakley, who was the first contestant eliminated. Baskin is thrilled to be on the show for at least one more week.

“I can't imagine a greater escape than dancing every day when there is so much going on out there in the world,” she said.

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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