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'Dog the Bounty Hunter' star sues ex-publicist for talking to tabloids


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/27/2008 

Duane "Dog" Chapman and his bounty-hunting kin are apparently waging a legal battle with the Krutonog family.

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The Dog the Bounty Hunter star and his wife Beth filed a lawsuit Thursday in Honolulu's First Circuit Court against their former publicist Maureen Kedes Krutonog and her Los Angeles-based Vertex Communications Co., the Pacific Business News reported Friday.

The lawsuit alleges Krutonog sold confidential and "fictional stories" about the A&E star and his family to the National Enquirer and other tabloids, according to the Pacific Business News.  

According to the lawsuit, Krutonog sold the storier because she wanted revenge on the Chapmans, who fired her in late 2005 or early 2006 after she'd worked for them for less than a year.

"Although she was hired by Mr. Chapman to protect his public image, plaintiffs believe that she instead sold stories that damaged his career," states the lawsuit, according to Pacific Business News. "[Krutonog is] the Benedict Arnold of the publicity world."

While the lawsuit doesn't delve into specifics about the information shared or sold by Krutonog, it allegedly dealt with "personal histories, relationships and business... not being a matter of general knowledge," according to Pacific Business News.

In addition, the lawsuit reportedly accuses Krutonog of blocking calls related to Chapman's availability for "appearances, engagements and auditions."

Chapman's lawsuit comes five months after Krutonog's husband Boris sued Dog the Bounty Hunter's producers for at least $5 million he alleges they owe him in royalties, salary and other compensation.

The Russian-born actor accused that A&E Television Networks, Dog the Bounty Hunter producer David Houts and his production companies breached their contract with him.  Boris sought compensatory and unspecified punitive damages.

In addition, on the same day Chapman and his wife sued Maureen, his sons Duane Lee Chapman II and Leland Chapman and family associate Tim Chapman filed a separate suit against Boris, according to the Pacific Business News

The three men reportedly describe Boris -- who has appeared in such films as Air Force One, The Hunt for Red October and The Italian Job -- as a "struggling actor" who represented them in contract negotiations with A&E from 2003 to 2006. 

In the lawsuit, they reportedly allege Boris created a secret deal "that called for him to receive more compensation than the show's stars" by getting a bigger share of the reality show's profits.

Both Chapman lawsuits accuse the Krutonogs of fraud, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty, according to the Pacific Business News, which added neither lawsuit specifies the damages sought.

Dog the Bounty Hunter's fifth season premiered this summer after A&E had suspended production on it and pulled reruns of the its first four seasons off its primetime schedule last November when a taped phone conversation in which Duane could be heard repeatedly using the N-word was made public by the National Enquirer.

Despite the Chapmans' lawsuit against Maureen, Pacific Business News reported it doesn't appear that she was involved in the controversy due to the timing of her relationship with the family.

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