Duane 'Dog' Chapman says he had a 'pass' to use N-word but isn't racist: 'I have more Black friends than Eminem'
Dog the Bounty Hunter is responding to allegations that he is racist, homophobic and that he cheated on his late wife Beth on her death bed.
Duane Chapman appeared on Entertainment Tonight with fiancée Francie Frane and talked about the claims made by his daughter Bonnie Chapman. He didn't deny using the N-word, but insisted he's not racist, defending himself by saying he has "more Black friends than Eminem."
"I have never been a racist," Dog told Kevin Frazier. "I'm 33-and-a-half percent Apache. But because of over 15 years ago, I have an Achilles' heel because I used the wrong word."
The TV bounty hunter was referring to a private phone conversation — surfaced in 2007 — in which he repeatedly used the N-word while speaking with his son.
Asked why he used the word so freely in that call, which was recorded and posted online, Chapman replied, "I thought I had a pass in the Black tribe to use it, kind of like Eminem."
As for who gave him the pass, he said, "The brothers. I had just gotten out of prison in 1979 after spending time, 18 months in Texas and it was probably three-quarters from the Black tribe. So that was a word that we used back and forth, as maybe a compliment. My pass expired for using it but no one told me that."
Chapman added, "To say a racist name doesn't qualify to make you a racist."
Frazier disagreed, saying, "If you use that word, if you use it in your regular everyday life, it makes you a racist."
Chapman replied, "OK. I have more Black friends than Eminem."
Frazier then called him out for the "proximity argument" — or the defense some use when accused of racism when they respond that some of their closest friends are Black.
Chapman also denied Bonnie's allegation that he uses homophobic language. When he again used the proximity argument — listing people he knows who are gay, including his daughter, Lyssa, and three staffers — Frazier called him out again.
"Would I die for a gay man or a Black man?" Chapman asked. "I'd lay down my life."
Chapman also denied Bonnie's claim he cheated on Beth, insisting it "never" happened.
"Beth was in the hospital three times," he said. "I was there every single second with her. I went home the night before she passed away with her mother and her sisters because they said, 'She won't pass away, Dog, with you standing there.' So I left. Three hours later, she passed away. So when did I have time? I am a good man. I would have never done that."
He said the latest allegations stem from a show he was doing with UnleashedTV being canceled in March. His daughter Bonnie stayed with the production company – tackling social justice issues for the streaming platform's show The System — leading to an estrangement between father and daughter. Both Bonnie and her sister Cecily are not invited to Chapman's upcoming wedding.
Chapman said Bonnie is being "brainwashed," leading her to publicly accuse him, last week, of racism, "right-wing" views and cheating on her mother Beth as she was dying of throat cancer in 2019.
"As far as the idea that I'm being brainwashed, this is the dumbest thing my father has ever said," Bonnie said in a statement to ET. "I didn’t believe he would go this far to discredit me so much as to say I was brainwashed. I am concerned about him. He has begun to believe crazy conspiracy theories. The only credibility my dad has to speak about brainwashing is perhaps as a victim."
Frane didn't say much during the interview, but did weigh in on not inviting Chapman's kids to the wedding, saying, "I am not going to allow our day to be ruined by this nonsense."
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