"As far as the way I feel about us, I think we are all one and I just don’t see us as being different genders or different colors or anything," the Big Cat Rescue founder said

By Gabrielle Chung
October 19, 2020 09:00 PM
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Carole Baskin
| Credit: Frank Ockenfels

Carole Baskin has come out as bisexual.

The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness star and Big Cat Rescue founder, 59, announced the news on Monday, telling Pink News, "I have always considered myself to be bisexual. Even though I’ve never had a wife, I could just as easily have a wife as a husband."

In the interview, Baskin shared that she started exploring her sexuality in the '80s, when she was engaged to a psychologist who was working with patients in the LGBTQ community who had been affected by the HIV crisis.

"I was always very male-oriented in the things I did … I never had any mothering instincts or anything, you know, I never played with dolls. And so I always thought that there was something off there, that I couldn’t quite put my finger on," she recalled of her childhood.

"But it was during the ’80s that I discovered that through dealing with the LGBT+ community that I [realized] I had just as equal feelings for women as I did for men," Baskin continued.

She added, "As far as the way I feel about us, I think we are all one and I just don’t see us as being different genders or different colors or anything."

Baskin also called out her Tiger King nemesis Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage — who openly identifies as gay — as "an embarrassment to the human community."

"It’s not a matter of what your sexuality is, this man is just a deviant in the way that he treats human life and animal life," she said.

The big-cat enthusiast has been married to Howard Baskin for 16 years. She was previously married to Don Lewis, who vanished on Aug. 18, 1997 and was later declared dead.

Howard and Carole Baskin
| Credit: netflix

During Baskin's stint on Dancing with the Stars in September, Lewis' family aired a commercial asking for tips about his disappearance. Currently, the family is offering a $100,000 reward for information about his whereabouts.

Lewis’ family has long suspected that Baskin had something to do with his disappearance. In Tiger King, Maldonado-Passage accused her of disposing of his body by feeding it to her big cats.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister previously told PEOPLE that Baskin is not a suspect in her ex's death.

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"We don’t have any evidence to even call her a person of interest," Chronister said.

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, Baskin further condemned her portrayal on the Netflix series, saying, "I am not at all the person I was portrayed in Tiger King."

"I am not the money grubbing, gold-digging, murderous person that they portrayed. I am the type of person who will come after any person who is abusing animals. I am relentless. I just won’t stop until I find some legal way to make it stop," she continued. "From that perspective, I think they got me right. Me as a person, that was a total assassination of my character for nothing other than whatever money they could get for selling that to Netflix."