Any millennial worth their salt is familiar with Duane Lee Chapman, a.k.a Dog the Bounty Hunter, if only because they watched a few episodes of his eponymous TV show to catch a glimpse of his famed bleached mullet and weathered skin.
The series, which garnered over $400 million in revenue during its eight seasons, captivated audiences with his outlandish personality, his dogged drive to succeed, and his no-nonsense work ethic. Many a criminal on the run were chased down by Dog and his team, filling the episodes with exciting captures. (Dog has caught over 10,000 skips in his lifetime). Yet, 20 years later, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s net worth doesn’t quite match up to his resounding television success. Plagued by heartbreak and legal troubles, Dog has suffered more setbacks than most people might realize.
Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Exciting Career
Dog the Bounty Hunter is best known for his self-titled A&E show that aired from 2003-2012. According to different lawsuits, the show earned a respectable $400 million dollars in revenue with almost 200 episodes. When the show was eventually canceled after nine seasons, Dog went after a new show like a soup bone. This led him and his wife, Beth Chapman, to star in Dog and Beth: On the Hunt for one season in 2013.
In 2019, as Beth battled throat cancer, they starred in a one season show called Dog’s Most Wanted. The show focused on Beth’s ailing health, as she eventually succumbed to her cancer on her own terms. Fans grieved right alongside Dog, mourning the loss of the powerful matriarch.
It might be a surprise to learn that Dog has also written two novels, both receiving glowing reviews. His memoir, You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide, was written in 2007. Three years later, he released, Where Mercy is Shown, Mercy is Given.
Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Family
Dog is the patriarch of a large family, having 12 kids with six different women. As of 2021, Dog has been married six times, his newest wife being Francie Frane. Frane and Dog were married in September 2021. Frane met Dog six months after Beth’s death—sadly, Frane’s husband had died around the same time. They were engaged 11 months later, bonding over their mutual losses.
As with any family, Dog’s large brood is no stranger to familial drama, especially after Beth’s death. Family members were furious that he moved on so quickly. His daughter, Bonnie Chapman, was uninvited from their wedding. Bonnie claims it was because of her support for Black Lives Matter.
She also alleged that Dog cheated on her mom, Beth, multiple times. In a Facebook post written on August 24th, 2021, Bonnie stated, “I had forgiven my father after my mother’s death for countless actions that I shouldn’t have. He would cheat on my mom all the time, and I hated him every time he did it, but I forgave him for that because I wanted a relationship with my dad.”
“As a child, I was always silenced by him, threatened with physical violence, and I will no longer back down,” she continued. “I stand for what I believe in firmly, and I think my mother deserves the honor. My father has dishonored my mother in countless ways since her passing.”
These accusations fall in line with the claims from one of his youngest daughters, Lyssa Chapman. She published a memoir, Walking on Eggshells: Discovering Strength and Courage Amid Chaos, claiming she had been neglected and abused.
One of his older sons, Wesley Chapman, only reunited with his father at the age of 38. In an Instagram post, Wesley said he spent the first quarter of his life without his parents, believing himself to be worthless. “Dad. Father. Daddy. Papa…Words I never understood and I am still just barely starting to understand. In 1980 I was born…By 1987 I didn’t have a mother or father in my life…My young life was riddled with abuse. Abuse that would make any documentary depicting my life story laced with TV-MA warnings…I was told over and over again I was worthless and boy did I live the first quarter of my life believing that.”
It’s safe to say that Dog has had a strained relationship with so many of his children, with some of the issues still continuing to this day.
Dog’s Legal Troubles
They say, “more money, more problems,” and Dog epitomizes that phrase. His original legal troubles stemmed from a 1976 accessory to murder charge in Texas. (This is actually why he’s only allowed to use a taser, while his colleagues use guns.) In 2020, Dog revealed to the New York Times that he was working to overturn the conviction to chase his childhood dream of being a sheriff. Unfortunately, this is merely the beginning of his legal woes.
His Stint In Mexican Jail
According to TMZ, Dog visited Mexico in 2003 to search for Andrew Luster, a trust fund kid accused of drugging and raping three women. Luster had skipped bond, with Dog hot on his heels for the payout. He successfully found Luster in Mexico, trussing him up and shoving him into a car. The Mexican government, however, put him in jail for kidnapping charges. Unfortunately, the lawyer that aided in Dog’s release did not receive the fee amount they apparently had agreed to. In 2013, a judge ordered Dog to pay the lawyer $880,000. As of 2021, this amount had not been paid. The current amount due still stands, now with interest tacked on.
The Long-Term Lawsuit Against His Manager
In 2013, Dog and Beth sued their manager Boris Krutonog who had wrongfully claimed he was an executive producer and collected money on behalf of this title. Dog argued that he was more of an agent/manager. The lawsuit turned bitter and long, with millions of dollars on the line. Eventually the suit ended up in mediation, with the two privately deciding how to split $4 million dollars.
Defaulted House Payments
Unfortunately, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s legal issues did not stop there. In 2018, Dog and Beth were sued for over $100,000 in defaulted house payments. According to an exclusive report by the Sun, they had purchased a $2,240,000 home in Hawaii from Karen and Craig Mills in 2015.
Court papers obtained by the Sun said, “As of November 27, 2018, there was an outstanding balance due of $109,328.69 for unpaid monthly payments, and reimbursement for utilities, real property taxes and insurance premiums.”
Due to Beth’s death, new paperwork needed to be written and Dog was due to be deposed prior to the pandemic. As of now, there is no further update.
Outstanding Credit Card Debt
To make things worse, when Beth died, she left behind thousands of dollars in credit card debt. In an exclusive report by the Sun, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard sued Beth’s estate for $73,860.55 on January 27, 2020. While he is not personally responsible for the amount, as the estate representative for Beth, he has to respond to these claims. Mastercard also claims there are unpaid sums as well.
In the same month, the Sun also reported that Dog owes over $11,000 in back taxes on one of his homes.
Dog The Bounty Hunter’s Net Worth
Money issues have trailed behind Dog his entire life. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s net worth is estimated at $6 million. In 2019, he and Beth sold their Honolulu bail bonds office, as the property had been sold to the Queen Liliuokalani Trust for for $8 million.
However, Dog claims that he is broke, according to a recent New York Times profile. With his involvement in the search for Brian Laundrie amid the disappearance and death of Gabby Petito, his long time fans are no doubt rooting for the perpetual underdog’s success.