A murder conviction from the 1970s has kept bounty hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman out of the United Kingdom and Celebrity Big Brother.
The reality TV star from the show Dog The Bounty Hunter had his bags packed to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, but he was denied a UK visa.
“It’s something that follows you the rest of your life, no matter who you become or who you are,” Chapman, 59, said from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he lives. “I’m not proud of it.”
Chapman, then 23, was in a car outside a house in Pampa, Texas, in 1976, where a friend had gone inside to buy marijuana. He said the friend got into an argument with the dealer and shot him.
“In Texas in the 70s, if you were present, you were just as guilty,” said Chapman. He and the others in the group were all found guilty of murder. Chapman was sentenced to five years in prison, but was freed on parole after 18 months. “I shouldn’t have went and I shouldn’t have been the person I was back then,” he said.
But Chapman said he was frustrated that it had stopped him from visiting his fans in the UK. “It feels terrible. I’m dumbfounded. I can’t believe it, after all these years, especially when we’ve been on television for the past nine years,” he said.
The Home Office said it did not comment on individual cases.
Production company Endemol UK submitted a letter saying it was sponsoring Chapman’s trip and that he was selected for the show ‘due to his public interest in his lifestyle and celebrity personality’.
Chapman is appealing against the visa refusal and hoping for a last-minute decision, even though the show was due to start this week.