June 27, 2019 11:24 am
Updated: June 27, 2019 11:35 am

Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman tears up in first interview since wife Beth’s death: ‘It came really unexpected’

WATCH: 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' star Duane Chapman spoke with Hawaii News Now about his wife, Beth, who also starred on the show and passed away June 26 after losing her battle with cancer.

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In his first interview since the passing of his wife Beth Chapman on June 26, Duane (Dog) Chapman thanked fans and friends for supporting his family during the “most terrible time.”

On Wednesday, Duane spoke to reporters outside of his home in Hawaii.

WATCH: Beth Chapman, ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ star, has died


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“You kind of try to remember that you’re celebrating life, but right now we’re mourning the death,” the 66-year-old reality star said.

“She’s trending on Twitter… we’ve got millions from all over the world… people wishing love and showing respect. We do have one problem,” Duane said to reporters.

He continued: “We’ve got people, mostly from the mainland, that are setting up funds with “donate here to Beth” and all that. Right now, so far, we don’t need any money at all. Please save your money and send flowers.”

READ MORE: Beth Chapman dead — ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ star dies of cancer at 51

“For a few years, we knew this day would come,” Duane said of Beth’s cancer.

He began to tear up: “It came really unexpected, really fast. All of her clothes, her makeup, everything. We didn’t prepare.”

WATCH: Beth Chapman of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ placed in medically induced coma

Duane went on to say that “we have to find a cure” for “the cancer gig.”

He shared Beth was “a control person” and that he is sure “she is still controlling me from heaven.”

“I loved her so much… my final words are Beth isn’t dead. She’s sleeping,” Duane said.

READ MORE: Beth Chapman of ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ placed in medically induced coma

Duane also revealed his wife’s final words to him.

“When she had an attack, I didn’t know anything to do but to say, ‘In Jesus’ name’ and hold her. And when I said, ‘In Jesus’ name,’ she said, ‘Say it again, say it more,’” Duane recalled. “And then she told the girls and everybody, with her mouth — she came out of it a couple times — ‘I love you’ and ‘Are you guys all OK? Don’t worry,’ but she never accepted it.”

Beth, who co-starred with her husband on the Dog the Bounty Hunter reality TV show, died early Wednesday at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu after an almost two-year battle with cancer, Mona Wood-Sword, a family spokeswoman, said in a statement. She was 51.

Beth was diagnosed with throat cancer in September 2017 after getting a nagging cough checked out. A tumour was removed, and she was declared cancer-free. But in November 2018, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.

“This is the time she would wake up to go hike Koko Head mountain,” Duane posted on Twitter early Wednesday. “Only today, she hiked the stairway to heaven. We all love you, Beth. See you on the other side.”

READ MORE: Sonja Morgan, Dorinda Medley on being ‘real’ on ‘Real Housewives of New York’

On Friday, Beth had difficulty breathing and passed out momentarily, Wood-Sword said. She was taken to a hospital, and doctors put her in a medically induced coma to spare her pain while treating her, the spokeswoman said.

Born Alice Elizabeth Smith in Denver, Chapman had lived in Honolulu since 1989. In 2006, she and Duane, the self-proclaimed world’s best bounty hunter, married during a sunset ceremony at a Big Island resort after being together for 16 years.

The couple met when he posted her bond for a shoplifting arrest, she told Rosie O’Donnell on The Rosie Show.

There are 12 children between the couple. They had 15 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Wood-Sword said.

Funeral services are expected to be held in Honolulu and Colorado, Wood-Sword said.

—With files from the Associated Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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