Duane “Dog” Chapman’s upcoming wedding to Francie Frane has turned into an all-out war in the family. The Dog the Bounty Hunter star’s daughters, Bonnie and Cecily Chapman, revealed earlier this week that they weren’t invited to the September ceremony, alleging that their social justice work and support of the Black Lives Matter movement has put them on the outs with their father.
Dog, meanwhile, has accused his daughters of being “groomed” to work with the network from which he was fired for allegedly using racist and homophobic language. Needless to say, things are getting messy — keep scrolling to see how everything has shaken out so far.
The drama first started when Cecily, 28, and Bonnie, 22, revealed they were not invited to their dad’s wedding. Cecily told TMZ she thought perhaps her father was “having a hard time” getting remarried with the memory of his late wife Beth Chapman so close.
“What I’m seeing personally is that my dad is having a hard time dealing with the fact that maybe he’s not gonna be able to replace my mom and that maybe me and Bonnie bring out a lot from my mom and that he sees our mom in us,” Cecily said. “I feel like that scares him. Yes, he can move on, yes he can get married again — that’s not the problem. I think he’s just scared that we remind him too much of our mother.”
Bonnie had a different take on the snub, claiming that she and Cecily were excluded because of their work on UnleashedTV’s The System, which concentrates on issues of social justice and racial inequality in the judicial system. Bonnie alleged her father does not support the Black Lives Matter movement and calls protestors “thugs” and other racial epithets.
UnleashedTV is the same network that cancelled Dog’s unaired show Dog Unleashed back in April after accusing him of using racist and homophobic language. “Our internal investigation confirmed racist and homophobic comments from Mr. Chapman, as well as illegal activity during filming, which Unleashed Entertainment cannot and will not tolerate,” a statement from the production company said at the time.
Bonnie told PopCulture in May that she wanted to step out of the Dog the Bounty Hunter shadow and embrace her passions by joining The System and advocating for social justice. “I don’t care if I become a moving target,” she said at the time. “I want to do something where I can sleep at night knowing I am doing what’s right.”
The 22-year-old continued of her public versus private persona, “I’m not a very political person online, but I’m a very political person in person. I want people to understand I’m not this little girl you saw growing up on television. I’m my own person.”
Bonnie’s allegations that Cecily and her work on The System was behind their exclusion from the wedding were bolstered by alleged texts from Frane she released to TMZ. The text begins, “First I’d like to say that playing drums does not suit You AT ALL, You are WAY WAY SMARTER than that.”
Frane’s alleged text then Cecily’s statement “absolutely INCORRECT” saying she and Dog “Love How the two of You in different ways are like your mom.” It’s then that the meat of the feud is addressed. “[L]et’s not beat around the bush, You & Cecily both know You haven’t been invited to the wedding because your (sic) living under the same roof with people who stabbed [him] in the back, robbed, lied, manipulated, smeared his name and tried to ruin his career.”
Bonnie also went on to accuse Dog of cheating on her late mother Beth before her death in 2019 due to cancer. “I hated him every time he did it, but I forgave him for that because I wanted a relationship with my dad. I thought I only had one parent left,” she said in a statement. “My mom was a true leader, and believe it or not; she kept my dad focused on his career. We all know of his missteps, but my mom always stood by him.”
In response to the allegations made against him, Dog told TMZ everything his daughter was saying was “false” and an attempt to derail his wedding. He alleged that Bonnie and Cecily are being “groomed” by former associates of his, ending his statement, “Please pray for Bonnie and Cecily to be released from whatever hold these people have on them,” adding … “Despite the sadness, we feel at this rift in our family, Francie and I are looking forward to celebrating our wedding next week with the rest of our family and close friends.”
The Dog the Bounty Hunter star is even allegedly “preparing to take legal action over the statements” made by Bonnie, Us Weekly reported. “They’re my daughters and I love them, but they will learn. I’m sad they can’t be a part of the wedding,” he told the outlet, saying it was a shame the two wanted to “bring a cloud over our wedding.”
He continued of the planned celebration of his marriage to Frane, “I have a large family and most of them are going to be here for it. I love all my kids and it’s going to be great to have so many people here to celebrate,” adding of the drama surrounding the ceremony, “We’ve spent so long on this to ensure it’s going to be just perfect and believe me, nothing is going to get in the way of us.”