Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman has a new girlfriend – and it appears that his family approves.
Duane confirmed last month he’s dating a woman named Francie Frane. On Tuesday, April 14, his daughter Lyssa Chapman shared a photo of the couple to Instagram, writing, “How cute are these two?!”
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In response to fans and followers criticizing the Dog’s Most Wanted star for being in a relationship – comes nearly 10 months after the passing of his beloved wife Beth Chapman – another one of his daughter’s jumped in to defend him.
“Everyone who’s judging my father should sure pray that they never have to lose their loved one and get judged for trying to fill the void,” Bonnie Chapman wrote. “Your opinion is invalid. My mother would’ve wanted him to be happy. Now please shut up and let me my dad live in peace.”
Beth, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017, passed away last June at the age of 51.
Duane has been open about his grief after her passing. He shared with PEOPLE Now last summer that he’d promised Beth he wouldn’t wed again, and in another interview with the same outlet last fall, the Dog the Bounty Hunter star said he wasn’t ready to date again.
“Not that I have, but you know, it’s not worth it,” he explained. “I don’t want to tell the whole story about my mom, my dad and my life and all that stuff again to a new person. Not yet.”
However, it appears Duane has found someone special again in his life. Last month, he opened up to The Sun U.S. about his relationship with Frane, calling it “a miracle.”
“It’s going really good,” he said. “It’s a God relationship because it’s just like a miracle. It’s a miracle how we met and it’s a miracle how great we’re getting along.”
According to the outlet, Frane is a 51-year-old rancher from Colorado and bonded with Duane over their shared grief of losing a spouse to cancer. Her late husband Bob passed away just months before Beth.
“I know that when I start to feel bad about Beth and it’s overwhelming, Francie seems to show up and that helps the kids,” the reality star told the publication. “And I feel that Beth expects her to show up to take care of me.And Bob, Francie’s late husband, expects me to be a man and a gentleman and so I am.”
“It’s a very real love that we are developing with each other,” he continued. “Both of us are allowed to talk about our spouses that are in Heaven — it’s not like we’re afraid to mention it or anything like that. We console each other but we also know that we have a responsibility and that is to do this right. There are a lot of people watching us.”
When asked if he’ll marry Frane in the future, Duane answered, “There will never be another Mrs. Dog but it looks like there will be a final Mrs. Chapman.”
Duane’s relationship with Frane comes nearly a few months after speculations surfaced that he was dating his longtime friend Moon Angell. His daughter, Lyssa, disapproved of their relationship openly on social media.
When speaking with The Sun U.S., Dog stressed he was never dating Angell. “Moon and I were not ‘in a relationship’ and I tried to prove that and it really hurt Moon’s feelings,” he said. “And she’s the one that took the beating over it.”
“But what’s important now is that my family, my close family, every single one of the kids and grandkids, approve of Francie,” Duane added. “And that makes a huge difference.”
Lyssa also spoke to the publication, she said her father’s new girlfriend has “been very respectful to all the kids — and to Beth’s memory.”
“They go to church three times a week and dad is trying to give up smoking — she is a good woman for my dad,” she said. “He’s the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time — he’s so in love and wants to spend the rest of his life with Francie.”