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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 5:44 p.m., Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dog Chapman's son sold tape to Enquirer, lawyer says

Associated Press

Television bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman's private phone conversation, in which he used the N-word repeatedly, was taped and sold to The National Enquirer by his son, Chapman's lawyer said today.

Attorney Brook Hart told The Associated Press that Chapman's son, Tucker, sent the recording to the tabloid for "a lot of money."

"I guess because of whatever level of anger he had of his father, he felt the need to express it in that manner," Hart said.

Tucker Chapman could not immediately be reached for comment. No one answered the telephone at a Honolulu number listed under his name.

Chapman, star of A&E's hit reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter," apologized Wednesday, shortly after the Enquirer posted on its Web site a 5-minute clip of the conversation in which he uses the N-word in reference to Tucker's girlfriend.

Chapman used the slur six times in the first 45 seconds of the clip, which has damaged his reputation and jeopardized his career as a TV bounty hunter.

A&E has suspended production of the series, saying the network takes the matter very seriously.

"When the inquiry is concluded, we will take appropriate action," A&E spokesman Michael Feeney said in a statement today.

The show, in its fifth season and one of A&E's top-rated programs, has not been canceled.

A telephone message left after hours for David Perel, the Enquirer's editor-in-chief, was not immediately returned. But earlier in the day, Perel declined to say how the tape was obtained, adding that it didn't matter because all that matters is what's on the tape.

In the conversation, Chapman urges Tucker to break up with his girlfriend. He also expresses concern about the girlfriend trying to tape and go public about the TV star's use of the N-word.

In a statement, the 54-year-old Chapman said he has "utmost respect and aloha for black people who have suffered so much due to racial discrimination and acts of hatred.

"I did not mean to add yet another slap in the face to an entire race of people who have brought so many gifts to this world," he said. "I am ashamed of myself and I pledge to do whatever I can to repair this damage I have caused."

Hart said his client is not a racist and vowed never to use the word again.