Storage Wars: Fake?!
By Ed Garea
David Hester – best known to fans of the reality show Storage Wars for his trademark “Yuuuuuuup!” – has filed suit against the producers of the show, alleging the show is fake and that the producers fired him out of spite.
The show reportedly renewed Hester’s contract, then rescinded it for Season 4 after he raised a number of complaints to the producers and the A&E Network.
In his lawsuit, filed by top lawyer Marty Singer, Hester accuses the show not only of illegal activity, but also of an ongoing pattern of outrageous behavior to deceive the viewing public.
The specifics are:
- Producers stage entire units and regularly enliste the cooperation of owners of storage facilities.
- The show pays for lockers “won” by “weaker” cast members.
- The show plants items in lockers after having their value appraised weeks before.
- The show also obtains items for placement in the units from a business regularly featured on the show.
- Bidding is rigged and scenes of the bidding are faked, as none of the auctions shown are open to the public. All interviews shown on the show are fake.
Additionally, the producers paid for the breasts enhancement of one of the female cast members.
Hester also says that on September 6 he and some of the other cast members met with A&E Senior Vice President, Talent & Production, Neil Cohen, to air their concerns about the practices. Afterward, Hester and the cast members met with Cohen, Jeff Baumgartner, the series’ producer, and Ernest Avila, the production company’s executive vice president of business and legal affairs. Again the concerns about salting units were raised.
Then, on September 18, Hester’s entertainment attorney, Stephen Barnes, sent a letter to Avila requesting that Hester be indemnified by the show for any third-party claims regarding “the authenticity of the auction process and the series.”
According to the suit, “Defendants’ response to this request was to fire Hester from the series.” Avila sent Hester a letter on October 1 nullifying the exercise of Hester’s option for Season 4, citing the September 12 letter.
Hester is seeking millions in damages for breach of contract, wrongful termination, and three other counts.
We can only quote Captain Renault in Casablanca: “”I’m shocked . . .shocked to find that gambling is going on in there.”