In the past two decades, Duane Chapman attained TV stardom and a sizeable fandom through his Dog the Bounty Hunter persona, but the reality star and former bondsman has had it rough in the past couple of years. The death of his wife Beth Chapman in 2019 threw his entire personal life upside-down, and inevitably stalled forward movement for the then-new series Dog's Most Wanted. While he's found new love to keep that part of his life content, Chapman is facing some major financial troubles thanks to a long-unpaid lawsuit.
New paperwork was filed in Hawaii, one of the states where Duane Chapman has a home, by a lawyer seeking restitution to the tune of more than $880,000 for unpaid legal fees dating back to 2013, according to TMZ. Those unpaid fees were themselves connected to an arrest made ten years prior.
Here's the backstory. In 2003, Duane Chapman was in full Dog the Bounty Hunter mode in his quest to track down the high-profile fugitive Andrew Luster, who'd posted a $1 million bail over charges of drugging and raping three different women. Unfortunately, Chapman captured Luster in Mexico, where bounty hunting is illegal. The then-burgeoning TV personality was thereafter arrested for felony kidnapping in Puerto Valley, though the charges were later dropped in 2007. Things took a different turn when Chapman raised a fuss over the fees he was meant to pay his lawyer, and then just never paid him. Not only that, but Chapman then sued his own lawyer over the payment issue, and that lawyer responded with his own lawsuit.
Cut to 2013, when the judgment came down that Dog the Bounty Hunter was responsible for paying the $880,000 fee, which hasn't happened yet. And it's partly because that judgment was made in California that the new paperwork was filed specifically in Hawaii where it will presumably be easier to make direct contact with Duane Chapman. And with interest, the total payment he now owes is $880,916.
Considering Dog the Bounty Hunter has spoken in recent years about not exactly having a ton of money to his name, it doesn't take a hefty imagination to consider why he might have been avoiding that payment in all these years. Things might have been slightly more positive for Duane Chapman had the new streaming project Dog Unleashed come to life, but initially promising situation went haywire after the production company Unleashed Entertainment pulled the plug for breach of contract. The company then chastised Chapman for his subsequent social media outbursts and filed a lawsuit against the company CBD Global Sciences, which was reportedly partnered with the reality star in creating a Dog-branded line of products.
It's unclear how that lawsuit will turn out, just as it's still not entirely obvious how the aforementioned eight-year-old judgment will go, though it will likely be more difficult for Duane Chapman to dodge this legal issue without enough funding to pay for a good defense.