'Dog the Bounty Hunter' Duane Chapman Credits Fiancee Francie Frane With Helping Him 'Man up' While Grieving

Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane "Dog" Chapman credited his new fiancée Francie Frane with helping him "man up" while he was still grieving the death of his late wife, Beth Chapman. Chapman and Frane revealed their engagement last week, 10 months after Beth's death. Although Chapman had previously said he would never get married again, he said he believes Beth would approve of Frane.

In a new interview with TMZ, Chapman explaining how he and Frane bonded through their personal tragedies. Chapman learned Frane's husband died six months before Beth died from cancer in June 2019. "We hooked up on the phone and started... taking to each other, crying and consoling each other and then one thing let to another and it's just incredible that I've been able to meet someone like her," Chapman explained. He said he sat around crying "for 10 months," but Frane helped him get back to work.

"With Francie, I'm allowed to speak about that. I talk about [her husband Bob] that passed and we cry," Chapman told TMZ. "We hold each other and that's really important... I am a fixer. I got to catch bad guys. I got to be at the top of my game. I can't feel sorry for myself or guilty. I got to get out there and make a difference. [It's] what I do for a living, so I got to get back."

Chapman said he had to "man up" for his job, and Frane "helped me do that." The Dog's Most Wanted star also confirmed his family "absolutely" loves Frane. Indeed, both daughters Lyssa "Baby Lyssa" Chapman and Bonnie Chapman have publicly voiced their support for Frane. Bonnie, whose mother is Beth, told fans on Instagram her father "deserves to be happy" and they should not criticize him.

Last summer, Chapman said in interviews after Beth's death he would never marry again. However, Chapman and Frane announced on Monday that they are engaged. In an interview with PEOPLE this week, Chapman said he needs a partner in life and assured fans Frane will not replace Beth in his heart.

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"I've said it before. There will never be another Mrs. Dog," Chapman told the magazine. "There is not. Francie couldn't do that. There will be a last Mrs. Chapman. If Beth was here, and saw Francie and saw how she was raised, her morality and this and that, Beth would say, 'Big daddy, don't lose her.'"

"You'll never forget the spouse," Chapman continued. "You can't help it. I will never forget. But I've got to get out there. I've got to be able to say, 'I came out of this and you can, too.' As a human being, I don't think you look for — not a replacement, because you can never find one. I'm learning that right now."