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'Dog the Bounty Hunter' producers sued for unpaid royalties and salary

By Christopher Rocchio, 05/22/2008 

Boris Krutonog claims he's getting the cold shoulder when it comes to being compensated for his involvement with Dog the Bounty Hunter.

The Russian-born actor has sued Dog the Bounty Hunter's producers for at least $5 million he alleges they owe him in royalties, salary and other compensation, according to his papers filed this week in Manhattan's state Supreme Court obtained by The Associated Press.

The actor -- who has appeared in such films as Air Force One, The Hunt for Red October and The Italian Job -- said in court papers that he introduced himself to Duane "Dog" Chapman in 1995 and thought the Honolulu-based bounty hunter and his various dealings would be the good basis for a film or TV show.

Krutonog subsequently signed a contract with Chapman and received the exclusive right to develop the show, according to court papers obtained by The AP.  He additionally claims that between 1995 and 2003 he developed what became A&E's Dog the Bounty Hunter reality series and stated A&E agreed to pay him as co-executive producer "for the life of the program." 

Krutonog accuses A&E Television Networks, Dog the Bounty Hunter producer David Houts and his production companies -- Hybrid Films Inc. and D&D Television Productions Inc. -- breached their contract with him and is thus seeking compensatory and unspecified punitive damages, The AP reported. 

Krutonog claims he failed to receive compensation as the show's creator and co-executive producer for its fourth season and added producers have also failed to give him accountings of money earned from home video, TV syndication and other sources, according to The AP.

In addition, Krutonog complained in the court papers that he was the target of "abusive, violent and outrageous conduct" and "episodes of psychotic behavior by" Chapman and his wife Beth, The AP reported.

On Wednesday, Houts referred The AP's questions about Krutonog's claims to A&E, and network spokesman Dan Silberman subsequently said he could not comment on pending litigation.

A&E resumed production on Dog the Bounty Hunter's fifth season in February. The network had suspended fifth-season production and pulled reruns of the show's first four seasons off its primetime programming schedule last November after a taped phone conversation in which Chapman could be heard repeatedly using the N-word was made public by The National Enquirer. Chapman subsequently apologized.

Dog the Bounty Hunter premiered on A&E in August 2004.

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