The big cat enthusiast, who currently owns The Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S), has referred to multiple women in his life as his “girls,” prompting may viewers to speculate he has multiple wives.
In response, the 60-year-old deemed those allegations as an “absurdity” in the new issue of People magazine, which hits newsstands on Friday.
“I’m not married,” he told the outlet. “My wife died 25 years ago in a car crash here in Myrtle Beach. I’ve never been married since.”
However, Antle doesn’t deny having an active dating life.
Dr. Bhagavan “Doc” Antle
“I certainly have lovely girls that I’ve met in my life who share time and opportunity with me, but they are by no means my wives,” he stressed.
Antle also noted that the women “are all 40 to 50 years old – they’re not kids.”
“If you look at the special, it appears that I do not have male help,” he explained. “Why is that? Well, there’s 25 of us here. There [are] 12 men. Where the heck are they in that show?”
For its showing, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” reached a U.S. television audience of more than 34 million unique viewers just in the first 10 days of its release on the platform, spanning from March 20-29, Variety reported on Wednesday, citing Nielsen estimates.
Joseph Maldonado-Passage seen in a Santa Rosa County Jail booking photo.
(Santa Rosa County Jail via AP)
The seven-part docuseries for the streaming giant follows Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, in his exploits as a zookeeper, country musician, aspiring politician and arch-rival of fellow big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin.
Maldonado-Passage, 57, was handed a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin.
To put the staggering viewership into perspective, Netflix reported that its wildly-popular series “Stranger Things” pulled in more than 31 million unique viewers in its first 10 days of its second season, while “Stranger Things 3” hit over 36 million over the 10-day window period, the analytics firm said.
“Tiger King” also saw an audience of 19 million among U.S. viewers on an average per-minute basis, which bested seasons two and three of “Stranger Things,” that posted 17.5 million and 20.5 million, respectively.
While much of its viewership might be skewed due to the coronavirus social distancing regulations in place that are keeping many folks inside, the overall trajectory of the show’s popularity continued to grow with each passing day, as the daily average minute averages rose dramatically from the first day to the ninth — 1 million by day three, 2 million by day seven and 4 million by day nine, Variety reported.
By Netflix’s own metrics, which measure how many member accounts watched a given show or movie for at least 2 minutes over the previous 24 hours, “Tiger King” remained the No. 1 most popular title overall in the U.S. over a two-week span.
Meanwhile, Investigation Discovery announced a “definitive sequel” to “Murder, Mayhem and Madness” that will also star Maldonado-Passage, but this one looks into the grave disappearance of Baskin’s husband Don Lewis.
Fox News’ Julius Young contributed to this report.