Yes, ‘Tiger King’ Star Doc Antle Was on Stage with Britney Spears at the 2001 VMAs

We’ve seen Britney Spears sing “I’m a Slave 4 U” at the 2001 Video Music Awards a billion times, but we’ve never experienced it like this.

Fans of Netflix’s new docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness might be surprised to learn that Doc Antle was on stage with Spears during the now-iconic VMAs performance. Although he wasn’t famous at the time, the tiger handler was featured in the background, since the singer’s prop list included a real-life cat.

Spears kicked off the performance in a cage with the tiger and its handler, who just so happens to be Doc Antle. The Tiger King star can be seen in the background of Spears’s routine (video above), standing in the cage as he wrangles a golden tabby for the audience.

Another Twitter user pointed out that Carole Baskin sat next to Spears during the 2002 VMAs and even shared a photo as proof.

Unfortunately, we can’t find any definitive evidence that Spears ever worked with Baskin (or her cats). While the seating arrangement could be a total coincidence, Spears is known for incorporating live animals into her performances, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Baskin snaked her way in…literally.

We’d do anything to hear Spears’s thoughts on Tiger King.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...