MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has denied all allegations made against him in Netflix’s Tiger King franchise, blasting the series he calls “entirely a theft.”
“They made stuff up to create a program that someone would watch, they never said it was a documentary, no one says it’s the truth, they just put it out there as a wild tabloid tale,” Antle, the owner of the Myrtle Beach Safari Park, told News13. “Everything that was the truth in ‘Tiger King’ was kind of taken away and given back in ‘Tiger King 2’ as a lie, well that’s all they got is a crazy set of stories that are half-truths that never really happened.”
“Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story,” is a follow-up to the massively popular series that debuted last year. The new, three-part series contains interviews with people who have either worked with him, or had relationships with him, when he lived in Virginia in the 1980s. The allegations include that he had sexual relationships with multiple minors when he was an adult, that he conspired to forge the signature of a 15-year-old’s father so he could legally marry her, that he physically abused multiple women and that he used deceptive financial practices as it relates to a fundraising organization.
Antle denies all the accusations and said a short-term marriage to a 15-year-old was approved by the girl’s father.
He also claims that PETA — which he refers to as the “modern-day Al-Qaeda” — is responsible for the accusations about him taking money from his rare species fund and mishandling animals.
Antle claims that no one from the series reached out to him to be a part of the new “Tiger King” installments, calling the original “entirely a theft. He said the show stole 235 images of him and used them without his consent.
The park has become popular since the show aired, he said, but that has also made him a target for environmental organizations.
“We have a perfect record, we have an incredible facility,” he said. “It’s so different from what they had. Of course, we get along with our federal inspectors, we are totally connected with our state regulator. We produced a product that’s exactly perfect according to the standard.”
He encourages viewers to see the park and make a judgment for themselves.
“We’ve tried to create this reserve that gives an opportunity for the entire family to be involved and be able to connect to the wildlife, and then we connect people to that same experience that we are having,” he said. “An opportunity to get up-close to these incredible animals uncaged in this meaningful interactive way puts a smile on people’s face and all of us get to enjoy that.”