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Chapman Apologizes for Using Racial Slur

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November 8, 2007 11:15 AM EST | AP

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LOS ANGELES — Duane "Dog" Chapman says he can be taught new tricks _ and one of them is never to use the "N-word" again.

Chapman, 54, has apologized to blacks and to all Americans for repeatedly using the racial slur during a March phone call to his son, Tucker, urging him to break up with a black girlfriend. The recent Web release of the recorded conversation by The National Enquirer led the A&E television network to put Chapman's reality show indefinitely on hold.

Chapman, who had issued a written apology, followed it up in his first interview since the scandal broke by remarking: "Never again. This dog learns."

In the interview with Sean Hannity for Fox News' "Hannity & Colmes" show Tuesday, Chapman denied being a racist and said he used the N-word conversationally when talking to black acquaintances.

"I thought that I was cool enough in the black world to be able to use that word as a brother to a brother," he said. "I'm not. I didn't know really know until three or four days ago what that meant to black people."

"I now learned I'm not black at all," Chapman said. "And I never did it out of hate."

"All black people in America I owe an apology to," Chapman said in the interview. "Whether, how dark I think I am, I cannot say that word. I owe the rest of the people, whether they are black or not in America, an apology because people look up to me."

"If I could kill myself and people would forgive me, I would do that," he said.

Chapman also specifically apologized to his son's girlfriend, Monique Shinnery. But Shinnery told the Enquirer that Chapman's attorney, not the TV star, called with an apology.

Chapman also said he is making a deal to be buried at a historic slave burial ground near George Washington's Mount Vernon home.

"I want to be buried right where they're at because I will never be forgiven as (long as) I'm alive," Chapman said.

Chapman appeared Wednesday night on CNN's "Larry King Live." He told King he had used the N-word not because of Shinnery's race, but to make a point with his son, who had served time for robbery.

"I referenced it, the only word I know, that would hurt his feelings or catch his attention very fast _ never as a prejudicial or racial slur or anything like that," Chapman said.

The Honolulu-based bounty hunter first grabbed headlines when he captured serial rapist and Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Mexico in 2003.

His TV series, "Dog the Bounty Hunter," followed him and his tattooed crew as they tracked down bail jumpers. The show starred some members of Chapman's family, but Tucker Chapman was not regularly featured.