Dog the Bounty Hunter was reportedly served with a $1.3 million lawsuit accusing him of “racist and homophobic behavior” during his search for Brian Laundrie in Florida.
The Sun published what it says is a photograph of the reality TV star receiving the court documents in which he is accused of breach of contract in connection with his canceled show “Dog Unleashed.”
The 68-year-old — whose real name is Duane Chapman — was allegedly fired from the show after racist outbursts and using an illegal Taser to intimidate his way into someone’s home during a shoot in Virginia, according to the Sun, which cited the suit.
Chapman, who also was accused of using homophobic language, has strongly denied the accusations, according to the outlet.
“Dog Unleashed” was canceled before it even aired over racist and homophobic comments the star made “as well as illegal activity during filming,” producers wrote earlier this year in a statement.
The reality hunter’s daughter Bonnie Chapman has accused him of racism and homophobia as well as cheating on her late mom, Beth. Another daughter, Cecily Chapman, has dismissed his high-profile search for Laundrie — the late Gabby Petito’s fugitive boyfriend — as a “publicity stunt.”
Chapman has told Page Six, “Sadly, Bonnie and Cecily have been employed by disgruntled former associates with multiple felonies who want revenge at any cost and are attempting to tarnish my reputation.”
Unleashed Entertainment chief Michael Donovan has said in a statement that “Dog Unleashed” was canceled because of “actions taken by Mr. Chapman during the show’s production that breach contractual agreements,” according to the Sun.
The outlet reported that Donovan is suing Chapman for defamation.
“Defendant is a disgraced reality TV star who was fired by Plaintiff after his company discovered that the Defendant had used racial epithets to attack Black teenage Black Lives Matter Activists,” state court papers filed Oct. 5 and obtained by the outlet. It was not immediately known where the suit was filed.
“Plaintiff’s investigation into the allegations of racial epithets also uncovered illegal activity,” the suit reportedly says, adding that Chapman “illegally holstered and wore a taser device during filming in Virginia, which is illegal in the Commonwealth considering Chapman has been convicted of a violent crime.”
Chapman “engaged in a course of conduct to lash out at Plaintiff for terminating his contract and this conduct has led to Defendant committing the tort of defamation,” the lawsuit says, according to the report.
The document reportedly includes an April 7 tweet from Chapman that reads: “Unleashed representatives are trying to steal hi Jack Miss lead miss information etc. all dog the bounty Hunter fans and dog the bounty hunter is also trademarked by us.”
The suit says the tweet “accuses Plaintiff and his associates of criminal activity, which is false, constituting defamation” and trying to “damage Plaintiff’s reputation.”
The suit also cites another tweet from Chapman in September that reads: “They will see how you have lied about all of us you creep again what about the little boys Daddy,” according to the Sun.
“The ‘lies’ Defendant Chapman references are the actual facts surrounding cancellation of his reality TV show … Thus, this statement is not a general statement of opinion, rather a statement Defendant is employing as true to cover up his immoral and criminal activity,” the papers reportedly state.
“To add ignorant insult to injury, Defendant resorts to tired homophobic tropes, calling one of the openly gay Plaintiff ‘daddy’ in a mocking manner and making a vile and disgusting implication using the words ‘little boys’ and ‘daddy’ together,” the suit says, according to the outlet.
Donovan claims it is illegal for Chapman to carry a stun gun due to his conviction for first-degree murder in 1976, when he was sentenced to five years in a Texas prison. He had been waiting in a getaway car when he fatally shot a 69-year-old man in a fight over marijuana.
Chapman reportedly claimed the weapon he was carrying was a prop, but according to the Sun, the suit says: “When Defendant showed a representative of Plaintiff the taser, the representative asked if the taser was real and Defendant replied: ‘Of course.’”
Donovan is seeking $1.3 million in the lawsuit, to which Chapman has not yet filed a response.
In a statement to the Sun, the reality star’s rep said: “Dog’s brief association with Mike Donovan was ill advised from the start. Now, Mike, a felon with multiple active fraud investigations into his company Libre by Nexus from several state attorneys general, is attempting to tarnish Dog’s image in the public eye.
“Everything about this lawsuit is false, the claims are legally untenable, and it will be vigorously defended,” the statement adds.