Mon, Aug 13, 2007 - Page 13 News List

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It's a boy named Beau for Spice Girl Emma Bunton, better known as Baby Spice, and boyfriend Jade Jones.

PHOTO: AP

Celebrity bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman doesn't think twice about taking on armed fugitives or drugged-up criminals, but he does have one great fear - heights.

Chapman, the crime-fighting star of the Dog the Bounty Hunter reality television show aired in more than 10 countries, has the image of being fearless as he charges around the US capturing criminals on the run.

But the burly ex-con says he has weaknesses - as well as regrets about a past that includes 18 months in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Chapman, 54, hopes he can put people straight with a newly released biography You Can Run But You Can't Hide: The Life and Times of Dog the Bounty Hunter.

"I come across sometimes as not the average bloke so this will help people understand me," he said in an interview in a New York apartment after refusing to step onto the rooftop of a 61-story building for a photo shoot due to his fear of heights.

"It's embarrassing for me to meet people with the past that I have had. ... I didn't have to become a criminal to become who I am today and I wish that part of my life could be erased."

In his biography, Chapman talks about his troubled childhood, joining a motorcycle gang and run-ins with the law, his five wives and 12 children, and his devotion to God.

It was after a spell in prison that Chapman turned to bounty hunting. Usually employed by bail bondsmen who need to make sure their clients turn up in court, US bounty hunters claim to catch about 31,500 bail jumpers a year.

Chapman claims to have caught more than 6,000 fugitives in 30 years but he did not rise to fame until his 2003 tracking and capture of Max Factor heir and serial rapist Andrew Luster. This led to an offer to do a reality TV show, which airs on the A&E cable network in the US.

A court in Mexico - where bounty hunting is illegal - this month dismissed a charge that Chapman illegally detained Luster and canceled an order for his arrest, ending the possibility Chapman could be extradited to serve a jail sentence.

Despite his tough image, Chapman says he is a devout Christian who sees his job as a way to help people find the right path.

"Once we've captured them and the adrenaline dies down, then I talk to them," said Chapman, who peppered the interview with quotes from the Bible. "That is as important as the capture."

Meanwhile, pop singer Emma Bunton gave birth to her own Baby Spice on Friday - a boy called Beau.

Bunton, 31, known as Baby Spice during her days with the Spice Girls, and partner Jade Jones's first baby was born at 11:12 am at London's private Portland Hospital.

"We just had a lovely baby boy," a beaming Jones told reporters outside the hospital. "Emma is doing very well ... she's just bonding with baby. We're over the moon."

Jones said the first request the singer had following the birth was for Coca-Cola and flapjacks.

Bunton and Jones, a former member of boy band Damage, have been together for eight years. She is the latest member of Spice Girls, who announced in June that they are reforming for a comeback tour, to give birth.

Mel B had her second daughter, Angel Iris, four months ago, after an affair with Hollywood star Eddie Murphy. She has an eight-year-old daughter, Phoenix Chi, from her former husband, dancer Jimmy Gulzar. Ginger Spice Geri Halliwell gave birth to her first child, Bluebell Madonna, last year. Victoria Beckham is mother to Brooklyn, 8, Romeo, 4, and Cruz, 2.

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