Duane Chapman's decision to get married very soon after the death of his wife, Beth, "to whom" he had been married for 13 years, caused an alleged rift between him and some of his kids. He also decided to leave two of them out of his wedding to his new wife.
Beth Chapman was working for a state senator in Colorado and had gone to the grocery store to get some lemons when the senator started paging her. The protocol was to get on the phone once the senator needed to speak to her.
Beth was waiting in line to pay for her lemons when the pager beeped, and she had like five people in front of her. So with the urgency to call the senator, Beth walked around the line to a pay phone.
Duane Dog Lee and Beth Chapman attend 2013 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013. | Source: Getty Images;
However, in haste, she forgot to drop the lemons and had them in her hands while she walked to the pay phone. Instantly the store security surrounded her and accused her of shoplifting.
Beth was taken to jail, and on getting there, she called a lawyer in Denver, Colorado, who referred her to his friend, Duane. After getting the bond, Beth was released from jail, but Duane continued to call her to come back and do the paperwork.
When she refused, Duane called her father and threatened to drag her back to jail if she refused to return for the paperwork. However, once Beth returned for the paperwork and spotted Duane, she instantly fell for him.
Duane 'Dog' Chapman and Beth Smith walk on beach on September 1, 2008 in Malibu. | Source: Getty Images;
However, to spend more time with Duane and get him to know her, Beth wrote countless bad bail so that Duane would call her back every time to correct it. Yet, unknown to her, Duane had also fallen hard immediately after she walked into his office.
While Beth was writing bad bails so she could spend more time with Duane, he wanted to finish her case quickly because his manager did not allow him to date clients.
Another problem was that Duane was married to his third wife, Lyssa Rae Brittain, at the time, so he tried his best to avoid Beth as much as possible. However, when the marriage ended, Duane married his new secretary Tawny Marie in 1992, although he knew his heart was somewhere else.
Beth also married Keith Barmore and became a mother to her daughter, Cecily. However, years after meeting and falling for each other, Beth and Duane eventually found their way to each other.
They welcomed a daughter, Bonnie, in 1998 and a son Garry in 2001. Even though they lived as a couple, they were not officially married. Beth started being described as his partner or sidekick, and Duane knew that was not fair because he was convinced Beth would be his forever wife.
However, that changed in 2005 when Duane proposed to her while they were in Las Vegas. The pair eventually picked May 20, 2006, as their wedding day.
Duane Chapman visits "FOX & Friends" on August 28, 2019 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images;
Sadly the night before the wedding on the big island of Hawaii, Duane's daughter, Katy Chapman, from his marriage to Lyssa, died in a car accident. Duane woke to the news on his wedding day and was not sure if to proceed with it or not.
After he was consoled by the family pastor, Tim Story, and a small family meeting, they unanimously decided to celebrate the wedding in conjunction with his late daughter's life.
Beth and Duane finally tied the knot in a sunset ceremony at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Duane donned a white leather vest with white jeans, boots, and American Indian jewelry. On the other hand, Beth wore an off-white lace gown designed by Eduardo Lucero.
The couple also gifted guest dog tags with the words "Dog & Beth Captured. May 20, 2006" inscribed on them. After the wedding, Beth adopted Duane's kids from his previous relationships because she disliked being called a stepmother.
Before his marriage to Beth, Duane was a father to his first child, Christopher Michael Hect, from his relationship with a woman called Debbie White. He also shared two children, Duane Lee Chapman and Leland Blane Chapman, with ex-wife Lan Fonda Sue Darnell.
Duane welcomed three children, Zebadiah, Wesley, and James, with his second ex-wife Ann Tegnell and his first daughter, Barabara Katie Chapman, in 1982 with his third ex-wife, Lyssa Rae Brittain.
They also shared two other kids, Tucker Dee and Lyssa Rae Chapman. Duane welcomed his last two kids with Beth, Bonnie Joanne Chapman, and Garry Chapman.
BETH CHAPMAN'S DEATH
While Duane and Beth were filming their series "Dog's Most Wanted," doctors informed the latter she had lung cancer. Afterward, an emotional Duane disclosed:
"My baby has cancer, and she is fighting like hell. I have cried a lot over this because Beth is my everything."
Duane stated that despite all the troubles and obstacles he had overcome, Beth's cancer diagnosis was the biggest, and he would not let her die. He also claimed she was his rock and bodyguard and would do everything to keep her.
Beth Chapman arrives at the 2013 CMT Music Awards on June 5, 2013 . | Source: Getty Images
Beth underwent chemotherapy to fight cancer, spitting blood and losing weight and hair. Meanwhile, Beth, battling stage 4 cancer, was also determined not to give up.
Beth disclosed her strength came from her strong Christian faith, which she used as a source of inspiration and survival. Sadly after 13 years of marriage to Duane and her determined fight and strength, Beth succumbed to her illness, dying on June 26, 2019.
Afterward, Duane grieving his wife, found solace in his Christain faith. He believed his wife had gone to heaven and was being cared for by Jesus. He also starred in a Christian film, "Hunter's Creed," about a man whose wife passed away from cancer, leading to him doubting God and his faith.
DUANE FINDS LOVE AGAIN
Months after the death of his wife Beth, Duane started dating another woman, Francie Frane. Then, in May 2020, almost a year after Beth's death, Duane proposed to Francie. At the time, Francie was also grieving her dead husband; the two had bonded over their shared grief.
Duane revealed he felt bad about wanting to marry someone apart from Beth but found in the bible that "God does not want man to be alone." According to him, the verse elucidates that God knows we need a companion, whether we are a man or a woman.
However, as their September 2, 2021, wedding day drew closer, two of his kids, Cecily and Bonnie, were left out of the guest list. Although the reason was not mentioned, people believed it was because they resembled his late wife, Beth, too much.
However, in a statement by Duane and Francie, they stated that they love Cecily and Bonnie very much but would like to keep any family issues private.
The exclusive wedding was held at The Pinery At The Hill, a luxury resort in Colorado Springs. Duane donned a black tuxedo while Francie wore a billowing white dress, paired with custom crystal-encrusted sneakers.
However, security at the event was also very tight, with German Shepards and Navy SEAls available after a person had threatened to throw paint on the bride's wedding gown.
Some guests also complained of having their car tires slashed with razor blades, and the tension was ascribed to the alleged rift between Duane and Beth's daughters Cecily and Bonnie.
In July 2022, Duane took to his Instagram to share pictures of him and Francie launching their parts in a church TV program. However, while some fans praised how they looked together, others were skeptical.
A fan wished Beth was the one in the picture beside Duane, not Francie. The user @rebeccaann37 commented: “[ I ] Wish that was Beth with you!!!” Meanwhile, another fan could not believe Duane would post what he did. “Really, dog?” The fan quipped.
Another fan echoed their sentiments, writing: “Get real, Dog, you [liar], you still smoking [expletive], and Francie Chapman will never be Beth.” However, not all the comments were against Duane moving on with Francie. A fan @cinnamontwist stated:
“I prayed and asked God to give U another wife and he did and He gave His best!”
Also, user @nancyfallon2022 gave the new couple her best wishes, declaring: “God bless you both. You look so much alike, no disrespect to Beth. Much love to you from H-Texas.”
“Just not the same appeal without Beth! I never even hear about Dog anymore ever.”
Although Duane looks determined to move on with his life, finding a lover in Francie and marrying her, his decision to get married so quickly is a bit unpopular with some of his kids and most of his fans.
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