Duane Chapman on his future: It's 'a lot harder now without Beth'

Duane Chapman, better know as Dog the Bounty Hunter, is opening up about surviving life after Beth — and there are some question marks about what’s next for him.

While there is no mention of Moon Angell, his companion as of late, Friday’s New York Times interview does detail the star’s love story with his Dog’s Most Wanted co-star wife, who died from cancer in June. In it, the widower talks of his “need” for love, and how life is “a lot harder now without Beth.”

The article recounts how they got together, with the famous bounty hunter saying they met in 1986 when he posted bail for Beth after she shoplifted a lemon. Things weren’t romantic, though, until a decade later, when he was coming off a very low period in his life — his mother had died and he’d spent a year smoking crack. He eventually sobered up, which is when he and Beth became an item.

It wasn’t smooth sailing, though. They married in 2006, which played out on Dog the Bounty Hunter, but on the eve of the wedding, Duane’s daughter Barbara died. Not long after, marshals barged into the couple’s Hawaii home to take him into custody related to Mexican extradition case. And there was endless family drama — he’s been married four times and has 12 children — such as Duane’s son Tucker selling to a tabloid recordings of him using racial slurs (more on that later). However, the true punch in the gut was Beth battling and then succumbing to cancer, which played out on Dog’s Most Wanted. After, he lost the will to live — and has since battled his own health issues, including being diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism.

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LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Duane Lee Dog Chapman and Beth Chapman are seen on November 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth Chapman are seen at LAX on September 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by starzfly/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman (L) and Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball at Hay-Adams Hotel on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)
WAIKIKI, HI - NOVEMBER 10: Beth Chapman (l) and Duane Chapman attend the Sunset on the Beach event celebrating season 8 of 'Hawaii Five-0' at Queen's Surf Beach on November 10, 2017 in Waikiki, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 07: Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Chapman sighting on March 07, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by David Aguilera/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
WAIKIKI, HI - SEPTEMBER 12: Duane 'Dog' Chapman and his wife Beth Chapman arrive at the CBS 'Hawaii Five-0' Sunset On The Beach Season 6 Premire Event at Queen's Surf Beach on September 12, 2015 in Waikiki, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Duane Chapman and Beth Chapman are seen on September 07, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PG/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Beth Chapman and Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman visits the SiriusXM Studios on April 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Duane 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Chapman (L) and Beth Chapman attend the Vettys Presidential Inaugural Ball at Hay-Adams Hotel on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Dog the Bounty Hunter, Duane Chapman and wife Beth Chapman visit at SiriusXM Studios on June 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 04: Beth Chapman, Duane 'Dog' Chapman, and guests attend the 2014 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 04: Beth Chapman and Duane Chapman attend the 2014 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 29: Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Chapman attend the Snoop Lion concert at The Showbox Sodo on August 29, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: TV personalities Duane Dog Lee Chapman and Beth Chapman attend the 2013 CMT Music Awards - After Party at Rocketown on June 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: (L-R) TV personalities Duane Dog Lee Chapman and Beth Chapman attend the 2013 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 07: Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Smith arrive at the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: TV personalities Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Chapman attend The ACM Experience during the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on April 6, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images for ACM)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Duane Chapman and Beth Smith (R) arrive at Comedy Central's Roast of Charlie Sheen held at Sony Studios on September 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - MARCH 19: Media personality Duane Chapman (right), known in the media as 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' is joined by his wife Beth Chapman as he promotes his book 'When Mercy Is Shown, Mercy Is Given' at Borders Wall Street on March 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 24: Television personalities Beth Chapman and Duane Chapman arrives at the Fox Reality Channel's 'Really Awards' held at Avalon Hollywood on September 24, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: TV personalities Beth Chapman and Duane Chapman attend the FOX Reality Channel Really Awards on September 24, 2008 at the Avalon Hollywood club in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Getty Images for FOX)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: TV Personalities Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Smith walk on September 1, 2008 in Malibu, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage) *** Local Caption ***
NEILL J. SCHUTZER/�2008 RAMEY PHOTO LOS ANGELES, 8/4/08 DUANE 'DOG' CHAPMAN AND HIS WIFE BETH SMITH AT STK IN BEVERLY HILLS NJSPS (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13: TV Personalities Beth Smith and Duane 'Dog' Chapman attend the Ed Hardy Swimwear launch fashion show held at Christian Audigier's private residence on December 13, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Polk Imaging/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 03: Beth Chapman poses with her husband, Duane 'Dog' Chapman, as he signs copies of his new book 'You Can Run But You Can't Hide' at Borders on August 3, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chad Buchanan/Getty Images)
Duane 'Dog' Chapman, AKA Dog the Bounty Hunter with his wife Beth. (Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)
Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth (Smith) Chapman pose at sunset after their lavish wedding ceremony at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, May 20, 2006. About 250 people attended the wedding. Chapman's daughter was killed the night before the ceremony (Photo by Lucy Pemoni/FilmMagic)
Beth Smith and Duane Dog Chapman during 2005/2006 A&E Television Networks UpFront at Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Lawrence Lucier/FilmMagic)
Duane Dog Chapman and Beth Smith during VH1 Big in '05 - Red Carpet at Sony Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - APRIL 21: From the reality television show Dog The Bounty Hunter Beth Smith (L) and Duane 'Dog' Chapman arrive to A&E Television Networks Upfront celebration held at Rockefeller Center April 21, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
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“This is the big moment,” Duane said of what is next for him. “That’s the big question.”

For one thing, he said he’s considering writing another book — about Beth.

And he’s also thinking about a new show, as he’s currently without a TV contract.

Either way, making money is at the forefront of his plans. “I’m broke,” Duane told the paper, citing years of medical bills during Beth’s extended cancer battle, as well as the costs of supporting his large family.

Lucky for him, he doesn’t hate the fame he’s found as an unlikely reality star.

“I need the attention. I wake up every day and say, ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the baddest bounty hunter of them all?” Duane said before turning to a serious tone and adding, “I need love.”

But the death of Beth has been a very rocky period for him — and it still is, his nearest and dearest say.

“Does Dog want to live or not?” Dr. Mehmet Oz, who had an intervention for Duane amid his health woes, asked. “Dog told me a dream where Beth said, ‘Big Daddy,’” — Beth’s nickname for her husband — “what took you so long? Maybe she’s waiting, what am I living for?’”

Chapman’s manager, Amy Weiss, echoed this, saying, “Dog’s very lonely. I was there at many points in the hospital with him, and it was very difficult. He’s lost, but he knows he must go on and provide for his family.”

Added Oz, “The irony is he’s a man who everyone relies on for advice. He was crutching so much on Beth — how are you going to show up in your own life?”

Since his health scare last fall, Duane has making small strides toward improving his health. He’s cut back on cigarettes (“only two packs” a day) and has been chewing on ice cubes to lose weight (taking him down to 187 pounds.)

The article goes beyond Duane talking about coping with Beth’s death, touching on a lot of other things, past and present. He spoke about that infamous recording of him using a racial slur his son sold to the National Enquirer, leading him to do an apology tour in 2007.

“I thought I had a pass,” he said, having grown up in the prison system (he was convicted of murder in the 1970s and also has 18 robbery convictions, by his count.) And, repeating a claim that his mother is Native American, he added, “It was a word I grew up using. I was wrong.”

He continued, “I’ll never be forgiven for that one. Some people form an opinion of me that I can’t change, but you’ve talked to me and I’m not a racist.”

Chapman also touched on politics, although did not disclose who he voted for, despite attending Trump’s inauguration. He said he doesn’t care who is president. “I feel an allegiance,” he said. “I think Michelle Obama would make a great president.”

He also talked about his belief that teachers should be armed to protect students amid all the mass shootings at schools.

Chapman also touched on his own criminal history while discussing the broken legal system.

“Things could change for the better,” he said, agreeing that the system is particularly hard on African-Americans, and added, “I am the prime example of the system: The bail bond system, the legal system, of crime. I’m a second chance. Guys who don’t have job hopes when they get out, why do you think they go back to what they were doing before they were convicted? If I can change, anyone can.”

He added, “But it’s going to be a lot harder now without Beth, that’s for sure.”

 

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