HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — “Tiger King” star Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been arrested in South Carolina, according to jail records.
Antle, 62, who does not have charges listed, was booked Friday at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at about 5:40 p.m. by the FBI, according to jail records.
Authorities didn’t immediately explain why he was arrested. Kevin Wheeler with the FBI told Nexstar’s WBTW that he didn’t have any details to provide at this time, but confirmed he was arrested Friday. TMZ reports that, according to a source close to the investigation, the charges are related to alleged money laundering.
Antle owns Myrtle Beach Safari in Horry County. He told WBTW in December that allegations made against him in “Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story” were “absolutely false.”
Information in the documentary accused him of having a sexual relationship with multiple minors while he was an adult — as well as forging the signature of a 15-year-old’s father so they could be legally married. He was also accused of physically abusing women and using deceptive financial practices as it relates to a fundraising organization.
In the docuseries, allegations are made about how money that Antle has raised for the Rare Species Fund has been spent and whether much of the money goes back into his pocket. The Myrtle Beach Safari website says the fund was established in 1983 and “is a grassroots organization that provides financial support and practical training to wildlife conservation initiatives in situ.” The website goes on to say that fund’s support has primarily focused on projects in South America, Africa and Thailand.
One woman referred to Antle on the show as the “Harvey Weinstein of the animal training business”. The T.I.G.E.R.S. facility at Barefoot Landing was also mentioned several times in the new docuseries.
In January, Antle waived his right to appear in court on various wildlife trafficking charges stemming from an investigation tied to a Virginia animal park. His trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 31. His motions to dismiss the charges have been denied.
This is a developing story.