The war between “Storage Wars” and one of its former stars is heating up.
Former cast member David Hester filed a bombshell lawsuit in December, claiming the show is “a fraud on the public” and that producers routinely planted valuable items inside the storage lockers for “dramatic effect.” Hester also claims he was fired from the show when he complained about the staged discoveries and is seeking more than $3.75 million in damages and fees.
A&E, the network that broadcasts the popular docu-series, has now responded to the allegations that the show is rigged.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cable network offered their version of events in legal papers filed last week in L.A. Superior Court, saying, “In a transparent attempt to distract from the issues — and maximize any potential recovery — Plaintiff’s Complaint tries to convert a garden-variety breach of contract claim into a tabloid-worthy drama, in which Hester portrays himself as a crusading whistleblower.”
The THR story also says that A&E claims Hester demanded to renegotiate his agreement for “Storage Wars” and when contract negotiations failed, only then did he raise concerns about the show’s authenticity.
The network points out that Hester was an accessory to the very fakery he is now protesting, because he had willingly participated in some of the staged, “scripted” scenarios during filming.
“Among other things, Plaintiff says that he participated in the very conduct he simultaneously claims was ‘fraudulent’ and ‘illegal,’ namely, the purported ‘salting’ of storage lockers with valuable items and the ‘scripting’ of some portions of the reality television program,” the documents assert.
Now in its third season on A&E and a ratings hit, “Storage Wars” auctions off abandoned storage lockers, with the show’s core group of buyers trying to outbid one another to win the units’ unknown contents in the hopes of finding hidden treasures.