Dog the Bounty Hunter’s Daughter Lyssa Chapman, 35, Becomes ‘Wife and Wife’ With Partner in Beautiful Hawaiian Ceremony, Says Her Dad is Still Grieving Over Beth Chapman

"It's really, really hard for him to come back to Hawaii," Lyssa says of her dad, who lost his wife Beth Chapman to cancer in 2019.

Published Jun 17, 2022

Marisa Sullivan

Family Healing After Cancer Loss

  • TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter, 69, was not present at his daughter Lyssa’s recent Hawaii wedding to partner Leiana Evensen, but he was there in spirit and fully supports his daughter’s nuptials.
  • The new bride told PEOPLE magazine that her dad—born Duane Chapman—has been having a really hard time coming back to Hawaii following the death of his late wife Beth Chapman, who he lost to tongue cancer in 2019.
  • Though Dog has since remarried, it is normal to go through a complicated grieving process. His new wife also lost her spouse, so she fully understands and they have been healing together. It’s important to talk about your pain in order to cope with loss.

A new daughter-in-law! TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter, 69, was not present at his daughter Lyssa’s recent Hawaii wedding to partner Leiana Evensen, but he was there in spirit, “and also electronically,” she said.

“He was of course on the phone with me all morning and during. We FaceTimed him a bunch,” Lyssa told PEOPLE of she and her wife, both 35, including him in their big day, even if it was from afar.

“It’s really, really hard for him to come back to Hawaii,” Lyssa added. Dog and his late wife Beth Chapman lived outside of Honolulu, married in 2006 and became one of the first reality show couples that fans simply couldn’t get enough of. She lost her fight with throat cancer at 51 in 2019. Dog has since found love again, and remarried to Francie Frane, 52, who also lost her spouse.

Lyssa’s mother is Dog’s third wife, Lyssa Rae Brittain, 67. Dog has been married five times and has a total of 12 children.

Related: Remembering ‘Dog The Bounty Hunter’ Star Beth Chapman Who Died Two Years Ago at 51 After a Brave Cancer Battle

Though Lyssa has admitted that her father may have had an issue at first with same sex marriage because of his religious beliefs, she assured fans that he absolutely approves of Leiana. After all, his daughter is simply beaming after her big day. The newlyweds even share the same birthday!

“Last week Lei and I boarded a boat at 7 in the morning with 7 of our closest family members and we dedicated our love and lives to one another,” Lyssa wrote on her Instagram. She wore a traditional gown—a slightly more relaxed version for a beach wedding—while Leiana opted for a white button-down shirt and shorts. Both wore flower crowns.

 

 

“With our feet in the water, we connected ourselves to the power and vastness of the ocean,” she wrote. “We were hugged by the majestic Ko’olau mountain range, that will continue hugging us as we live and spend the rest of our lives together at Makaalamihi. There, with uncle David officiating, we stated our declarations of intent, said our vows and began life together OFFICIALLY as wife, and wife.”

Related: Two Years After Losing His Wife Beth to Cancer, Dog the Bounty Hunter Remarries; Finding Love After Loss

Leiana summed up the special day on her own Instagram page. “I still can’t believe I am lucky enough to be by your side. In life, in love, in adventure, in sickness and in health,” she wrote. “I will continue to love you with every ounce of my being … Lyssa Rae Chapman-Evensen II, I fall deeper and deeper in love with you every single day and never know how I could possibly love you any more…until the next day comes.”

 

 

Beth Chapman’s Cancer Battle

Beth Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017. She beat the disease from what doctors could tell at the time, but then the cancer recurred in her lungs, at which point it had also spread throughout her body.

How to Cope When Recurrence Rattles Your Faith

Chapman was admitted to the Queens Medical Center in Hawaii, where she was placed into a medically induced coma by doctors who, according to the website TMZ, said they were trying to help her and reduce her suffering.

Related: Céline Dion Remembers Her Husband on the Day He Lost His Fight to Throat Cancer: ‘I Would Be Lying If I Said I’m Fine’

True to form, Beth and ‘Dog’ Chapman lived the last months of Chapman’s cancer battle in the same extremely public way in which they’ve lived the rest of their lives for many years. The end of Chapman’s life was met with a huge outpouring of support from millions of people who identified with her struggle and also took part in her Christian faith, about which she was extremely vocal.

“I don’t go to God and go, ‘Why did I get cancer?’” Chapman told a church group in Bradenton, Florida on Mothers Day. “He’ll roll his eyes at me again, because I know why — because this is the ultimate test of faith.”

Related: Beth Chapman Chooses Cannabis Over Chemo—Quality of Life and Palliative Care For Incurable Lung Cancer

As a devout Christian, Beth said that instead of chemotherapy she would be leaning on her Christian faith and the Lord Jesus Christ. “Chemotherapy is not my bag,” she had said.

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Choosing to forgo conventional treatment is an extremely difficult and personal decision. We don’t know what, if any, alternative treatments Chapman may have been pursuing for what’s been reported to have been stage IV lung cancer. Typically, the treatment for this advanced disease can involve extensive chemotherapy or radiation, or targeted therapy if the patient has a certain genetic mutation.

But decisions to forego aggressive treatments at the end-of-life are the types of decisions with which millions of families have to grapple when a loved one is in the very advanced stages of cancer.

During her final days, Chapman was surrounded by those who loved her—including her husband, Dog, who has always praised his wife for her strength, especially in the face of cancer.

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