Storage Wars faked, star alleges, after getting fired for complaining about practice

Have you guys seen “Storage Wars”? I saw about the first two seasons. It’s a nice show that was family-friendly enough, apart from some bleeped swearing, for my son to watch with me. It was interesting for him too – he enjoyed learning about the different objects that the bidders found, and they created a whole drama arc based around the characters. We soured on the show after a while, because it got predictable and the finds seemed too good to be true. In fact I googled “Storage Wars Faked” at least a year ago and found some YouTube videos where people pointed out that the contents of the lockers would change from scene to scene before they were supposedly touched. (Here are two examples of this.) So we gave up on Storage Wars, which I bet a lot of other people did too, although it’s still holding strong in the ratings. (The Sons of Anarchy season 5 finale did top the Storage Wars season 4 opener last week, but it was a strong second.)

So Storage Wars is a wildly popular show, there are two spin offs airing now and several more in the works, and the original is making money so they’re not going to stop churning out new episodesn. The entire lucrative franchise may be in jeopardy however, now that a new lawsuit by Dave “YUUUUP” Hester has come to light. Hester is suing A&E for unlawful termination, and alleges that he was canned after he protested that producers were pre-stocking lockers with objects for him and the other cast members to find. His lawsuit also states that there were no actual auctions taking place during filming, and that it was all staged, pretty much. Here’s more, thanks to Radar. You can see the PDF of the lawsuit on Radar, which also reveals that Dave made about $25,000 an episode. He alleges he’s owed $750,000 in earnings for episodes this season.

“Yuuupp,” Dave Hester has filed a blockbuster lawsuit against Storage Wars, is reporting exclusively.

Hester, one of the show’s best-known personalities who is infamous for his brash “Yuuup” while bidding on storage lockers, charges that the A&E hit show is fake and fired him in retaliation days after he complained about it to network and production company executives.

Radar broke the story that the reality TV show picked up Hester’s contract option and then rescinded it for season four. Now, in the lawsuit filed by Los Angeles top attorney Marty Singer, the show is accused of illegal activity and an ongoing pattern of outrageous behavior in deceiving the public.

The suit contains numerous bombshell claims, including that that the network and producers regularly “salt” lockers with valuable items to add drama to the show, rig the bidding and even paid for a female cast member’s plastic surgery to add sex appeal!

In the five-count multi-million dollar lawsuit filed in California, Hester makes detailed and explosive allegations against the show, which the network has previously defended as 100% real and not staged.

He also says that cast members confronted executives at an in-person meeting this year and expressed their concern over the show being rigged.

Hester says was fired days after meeting with executives and subsequently asking to be indemnified by the show for any third party claims regarding “the authenticity of the auction process and the Series.”

In a suit that is sure to cause ripples through the show and the network, Hester charges:

Producers staged entire units and enlisted the cooperation of owners of storage facilities to do so.
The show pays for storage lockers for “weaker” cast members as part of the manipulation
The show plants items in lockers after having them appraised weeks in advance
The show obtains items to be placed in the units from a business regularly featured on air
In addition, Hester charges that interviews with cast members are scripted and scenes of biding are faked to the extent that there are no auctions taking place while cast members and members of the public are shown bidding.

But perhaps the suit’s biggest bombshell is the charge that cast members, along with Hester, met with executives this year and expressed their concerns about the show being faked.

“The truth is that Defendants regularly salt or plant the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions portrayed on the Series with valuable or unusual items to create drama and suspense for the show,” the suit alleges.

[From Radar Online]

The female star that got plastic surgery on the show’s dime was probably Brandi Passante, who was rumored to have had a boob job, although that’s hard to verify. Apart from that, none of this will surprise people who watched the show. It was obviously staged. Also, I watched the pilot episode of Storage Wars Texas last year. That seemed even faker than this. I get why producers stock the lockers, but that ruined it for me. Did they need to be so obvious about it? This brings up wider issues about reality shows. They’re entertaining to us because they’re hyped and faked and people play it up for the cameras, but it still bothers me. Isn’t there a way to preserve “reality” and still make it entertaining?

Also, I have to throw it out there that maybe Dave wasn’t as much of an a-hole as he came across on the show. Maybe he protested too much and producers decided he was going to be the “villain” character. On the other side, it’s possible he’s just disgruntled after getting canned and filing this lawsuit as retaliation. I found this YouTube video where a guy who worked with Brandi and Jarred (the young couple on the show) claims that it’s not faked and that “Dave is just an a-hole.” Personally, I think the lockers were stocked.

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27 Responses to “Storage Wars faked, star alleges, after getting fired for complaining about practice”

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  1. Esmom says:

    Say it ain’t so, lol. My 11-year-old son will be crushed, just as he was crushed when he heard Man vs. Wild was faked. Next you’ll be telling us those aren’t real ghosts in Ghost Adventures, another top show of his!

  2. LakeMom says:

    My husband still watches the show but I’ve always believed it was totally staged and lost interest early on. What bothers me is how many people are now spending money they may not be able to spare in hopes of making a big find because they saw it happen (not realizing its faked) on tv?

  3. Dawn says:

    Aren’t all so called reality shows scripted? Why is anyone surprised by this? I watched a few of these and just thought all these people are way too comfortable in front of the camera for it to be real “reality”!

  4. The Original Mia says:

    Dave didn’t have a problem with the show when he was collecting those paychecks. It’s only when he asked for a larger cut that things started to get problematic. Of course, it’s faked. It’s a reality show. Not sure what Dave hopes to achieve, other than to screw over his castmates.

  5. Zigggy says:

    It’s so obviously fake, I can’t believe it when people think it’s real. Same with Duck Dynasty. (And, like, every other “reality show.”)

  6. Amory says:

    Of course it’s fake, but Dave is only saying so because he wanted more money and didn’t get it.

    I still like seeing the lockers, most of which are likely real, and I still like seeing the value and history of the weird things that they “find.”

    And everyone knows that Barry is the true star!!

  7. Sapphire says:

    Funny, becuase Barry is the “fake”-he’s a buddy of the producer who really is interested in the rare and unusual, but he’s not a dealer. This is pretty common knowlege.

  8. lucy2 says:

    Wait wait wait…are you telling me that reality tv isn’t REAL?!?!

  9. Stubbylove says:

    Stopped watching awhile ago – regardless of it being rigged, Barry rocks!

  10. GirlyGirl says:

    Oh please, anyone who believed this show was real needs their head examined.

  11. sirsnarksalot says:

    Dave is a cry baby who wanted more money and didn’t get it. He ran thru his funds buying trucks and thought his gravy train wouldn’t end. So they fired him and its sour grapes. He has a fued with his own brother, went to court ordered anger management, and was sued by a rapper over trademark infringement. Dude is broke and mad. End of story. And I love Barry!

  12. BeesKnees says:

    Does anyone out there not know that ALL reality shows are staged? I watched that youtube video from the guy who works with Jarred and Brandi and he looks and sounds high, so thanks for the laugh CB!

  13. wilkie.collins says:

    My boyfriend said after the first season second episode they were planting stuff, I agreed but still enjoy the show, some of the stuff they “find” is interesting and I never would have known about them. So like all reality tv take it with a grain of salt enjoy it if you want to.

    • Dutch says:

      What’s in the lockers never bothered me as much as how the castmembers determine the value of what’s in the lockers. Hester and Darrell are the worst with this. There’s no way these guys are actually selling bags of used old lady clothes and busted 80s electronics at thrift stores and flea markets for the hundreds of dollars that they claim. Yet every time a crazy value comes out of their mouth, that tote board tics up.

  14. Amanda G says:

    Are you kidding me? ALL reality shows are staged in some way! Which is why I don’t watch many of them anymore.

    Dave was really annoying so that’s no big loss.

  15. Lemmetellya says:

    C’mon, this is not news. Ever notice that all the ‘finds’ are wrapped in bubble wrap – when nothing else in the locker is? Keep an eye out for it if you haven’t. But yes, Barry Weiss is the best part of this mess. This man needs his own show.

  16. Gabby says:

    I live in LA and am pursuing acting. The casting submission website I subscribe to often has casting notices for this show looking for actors to play members of the public bidding at the auctions.

  17. Al says:

    I watch the show for Barry, that’s all :)

  18. Mike W. says:

    “I get why producers stock the lockers, but that ruined it for me. Did they need to be so obvious about it? This brings up wider issues about reality shows. They’re entertaining to us because they’re hyped and faked and people play it up for the cameras, but it still bothers me. Isn’t there a way to preserve “reality” and still make it entertaining?”

    Probably not. Most things need to be exaggerated to translate through the medium. Think about it– I don’t need to turn on the TV to see normal. (And, this is coming from someone who spent 20 years in television news.) These
    “reality” shows are cast just like any other show. The producers look for entertaining characters.

    I watch Storage Wars and since discovering the show, I could tell it’s not entirely “real.” The producers have to make sure they have “good tv” EVERY episode and with no guarantee that each auction will produce a WOW find, they create the WOW by planting stuff. It’s entertainment. Anybody watching Storage Wars for an in-depth look at the world fo abrocker. LOL

    The interesting thing to me is that so many people think reality tv is “real.” Anybody watching Storage Wars for an in-depth look at the world fo abandoned storage locker auctions is a little off their rocker. LOL

    The Dave Hester lawsuit makes me shake my head. The guy has this schtick of “YUUUUUPing” all the time and agrees to the “salting” of lockers before deciding he doesn’t like it. Why? Well, he suddenly got a conscience and thinks it might be illegal. The real reason, if you ask me, is his claim that the practice gives his co-stars who may not be as well healed as he an advantage on some lockers. Sorry, Dave. As popular as you think you are, the producers don’t want you winning EVERY locker on the show. If that were the case, they’d just give you your own show. LOL I’m not seeing where this thing goes anywhere. If they really wanted to show “real,” they’d just show up at auctions, record what happens and put it on TV. No cast of characters. No paychecks. Just an inside look at a real storage auction. But then, that would be a documentary, wouldn’t it? YUUUUP!!!