'Storage Wars' Star Dave Hester Sues A&E Claiming Show Is Staged
Dave Hester, a former cast member of the hit A&E reality series Storage Wars, in which individuals bid on abandoned storage lockers, is suing the network and Original Prods on the grounds that he was wrongfully terminated for claiming the show was staged. Hester is seeking $750,000 in damages.
Hester had met with network executives and expressed concern over the show’s practices, which Hester’s suit identifies as, among other things, planting items in storage lockers, paying for a female cast member’s plastic surgery and staging fake bidding wars, Radaronline reports. The suit also claims that the show alters the competitive field by "manipulat[ing] the outcome of certain auctions by paying for storage units on behalf of the weaker cast members who lack both the skill and financial wherewithal to place winning bids."
Hester, whose nickname is “the Mogul,” is a popular figure on the show and is known for his bidding call, “yupppp!” He originally ran a furniture store, but after a 2005 DUI forced him to perform community service at a Goodwill, Hester turned the experience into a business opportunity, eventually opening up a thrift store and entering the storage locker bidding game, according to his bio on A&E.
The network has maintained in the past that the show is authentic, and while it has yet to comment on Hester’s case, Dan Dotson, of Storage Wars’ auction company, defended the show. “We only sell legitimate units on Storage Wars,” Dotson told TMZ. “Every unit goes through a 64-day legal process and no one has access to units prior to auction.”
Storage Wars will conclude its third season, and Hester's now-tenuous run, on Dec. 18 on A&E at 9 p.m. EST.
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