NEW YORK (Reuters) - Celebrity bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman, whose reality TV show has been pulled from the air indefinitely after he used a racial slur, says he still loves the son who sold the tape of his private remark.
Cable channel A&E took the popular show, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” off its schedule for the foreseeable future after a private phone call in which Chapman used an offensive term to describe his son’s black girlfriend hit the Internet.
Chapman said his son, Tucker Chapman, had sold the tape of the conversation that dates back to March to The National Enquirer but he did not know why.
“He will not talk to me,” said Chapman, who has 12 children and has been married five times.
“His mother’s in on it with him. I have been away from her since the ‘80s so now she is like getting even,” he told the Larry King Live show on CNN on Wednesday night.
A teary Chapman, who has apologized repeatedly since the tape was made public and promised to make amends, said he had used the epithet “nigger” on a heated call with his son while admitting he was probably interfering in his life.
Chapman said Tucker had been sent to prison at the age of 18 and served four years of a 20 year sentence for armed robbery before being released on parole.
“I tried to take control of his life (after this),” said Chapman, himself an ex-con. “I heard this girl was maybe not being the best for Tucker — and I’ll leave it like that — so I tried to interfere.
“I don’t care if she is black at all. He’s on parole for a 20 year sentence and if he messes up he goes back.”
Honolulu-based Chapman, 54, who says he is a devout Christian, made no comment on reports that his son sold the tape for $15,000.
“All I want him to know is that I love him very much,” he said.
A&E has said no decision has been made to cancel the program, which is shown in more than 10 countries, and the network will review the situation again later this month.
Chapman, with his trademark scraggly long blond hair and leather wardrobe, rose to fame after his 2003 tracking and capture of Max Factor heir and serial rapist Andrew Luster in Mexico.
This led to an offer for a reality TV show following him and his “posse” tracking down people who jump bail.