Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story has arrived on Netflix and unpacks a load of shocking allegations of child sexual abuse, physical abuse, and abduction.
The three-part Netflix documentary shines a light on the animal trainer, real name Mahamayavi Bhagavan Antle, and seeks out to expose the ‘predator’ who the streaming giant claims is ‘far more dangerous than his beloved big cats’.
In the first two episodes, three women who all say they were married to Antle, share horrific insight into their relationship, with two claiming they had sexual intercourse with him while underage.
Antle denies these, calling them ‘twisted and distorted stories’
Here’s everything you need to know about the sexual abuse claims and violence in Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story.
Antle met his first wife Betsy ‘Brahmi’ Rogers during high school. They changed their names soon after they got married following a one-month retreat at Yogaville.
Betsy alleged that Antle would sleep with other women and would tell them she consented to an open relationship, although she didn’t.
‘I was always the last to know,’ she said, before going on to claim: ‘He was pretty careful at picking teenage girls whose parents didn’t pay attention to them.
‘He was only interested in me as long as I looked like I was 12. Until the age of 30, I weighed 100 pounds. I had no curves just nothing. He liked women who looked like they were still teenagers.’
Speaking of the physical abuse she endured at the hands of Antle, Betsy claimed: ‘He used to strangle me because it didn’t leave a mark. He got so mad at me when I got pregnant. He said it was my fault.
‘When I started giving birth, someone tracked him down and of course, he was with his girlfriends at the time. He came to the bed next to me and slept while I was having a baby.’
Betsy added: ‘There’s not a whole lot of things that will happen to me worse than that. As soon as the baby was born, he was gone.’
Although Antle was married to Betsy, it’s claimed he started a sexual relationship with 14-year-old Yogaville devotee Sumati Steinberg.
Recalling the first time she met Antle, Sumati said: ‘He hit on several of the teenage girls that day in the lake. He was 22 I was 14. He spent a long time, six months, sending me poetry, getting me flowers, just really wooing me.
‘He did a nude photoshoot of me and a boa constrictor and luckily his wife Brahmi (Betsy) found those pictures and burnt them.’
‘My 15th birthday was the first time that we slept together, but before we slept together we had a spiritual wedding ceremony in his meditation room upstairs in his house… even though he was already legally married,’ she alleged.
The pair went on to honeymoon in the Virgin Islands with his first wife, Betsy.
Sumati alleged that Antle was ‘incredibly violent’. ‘There were four times in four years where I thought he was going to kill me,’ she claimed. ‘He was so incredibly violent with me that I thought, that’s it.
‘The first couple times was I was going to leave him. It was pretty soon into the relationship. I didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. He would beat me or be violent with me, scare me into staying with him, choke me until I would pass out.
‘One time he even bragged to his girlfriends that he broke two of my ribs to shut me up. And it’s true, he did.’
Eventually, Sumati fell pregnant. ‘First, he said it wasn’t his child, then he said I needed to get an abortion,’ she claims. ‘Once I got pregnant, he was already in a relationship with another 14-year-old.’
Antle’s next relationship was with Radha Hirsch, who claims she first slept with him aged 14 with the zookeeper allegedly abducting her one year later. They then went on to marry.
‘I was 14 the first time anything romantic happened,’ she alleged. ‘He told me that it was one of his specialties, but the first time was a bit underwhelming. After we were together, he said: “If it’s not okay with you, you know I can make you forget”.
‘I was 14 and he was 25. My mum was wanting me to realise how inappropriate the situation was and I remember him saying, “don’t worry, we’re going to work it out, we’re going to be together”.’
Radha recalled how she would tell Antle in detail her route to and from school, and one day he showed up and she ran away with him.
‘In my mind, I ran away yes, but I wasn’t thinking that it was really an abduction,’ she said. ‘I was all too happy to jump in that car and run away with him.
‘He put me in a hotel on the outskirts of DC. I was living in an Econo Lodge by myself for at least a month.’
Eventually, she contacted her mum to let her know that she was alright but immediately told Antle that she had slipped up.
As a result, he cut her hair and disguised her and she changed her name to Chantal Rivera and moved to live in his zoo in Virginia.
‘When I went to go live on the zoo, all the staff were forced, even though they knew me as Radha, to call me Chantal,’ Radha remembered.
One month later they were married. ‘We forged my father’s signature on the marriage license because you’re not allowed to get married at 15 without one of your parent’s consent,’ she said.
However, their marriage soon ran into problems.
‘He [Antle] confided in me that he was attracted to me when I was younger,’ Radha said. ‘Since I was 11. That made me extremely uncomfortable and changed the dynamic of our relationship.’
She admitted that Antle’s admission ‘creeped me out’ and she soon masterminded a getaway.
Antle discusses his past romantic relationships in an old interview that is featured in the documentary.
‘As far as my personal and private life, I want to be honest about it,’ he told cameras. ‘I have nothing to hide, and the truth is, back in my 20s back in the 1980s, I was way too promiscuous.’
In a statement shared with Metro.co.uk, Antle said: ‘Netflix is at it again with their tabloid style fiction based docufantasy: Tiger King “A Doc Antle Story.” It’s yet another one of Eric Goode silly, twisted and distorted stories of half-truths and many lies about my life from 25-35 years ago.
‘The story is loosely strung together by Netflix producers who are always so factual…not! They conjure up a story about a small mist that they present as a cat 5 hurricane.
‘They’ve brought in a variety of colourful second and third-tier characters from my long-lost past, all of whom attempt to tell a tale that never happened.’
He continued: ‘We here at Myrtle Beach Safari operate the Ritz Carlton of wildlife preserves, one of the finest in the world. We have a fantastic staff, most of whom are family and have lived here for 20-25 plus years.
‘If you want the truth, come and experience this for yourself, talk with us, and get to TRULY get to know us. We would love to have you. Peace and love Netflix and bless your hearts!’
Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story is available to stream on Netflix.
Credit: Original article published here.