A&E tries to quash 'Storage Wars' lawsuit

The network has repeatedly denied suggestions the show is faked, and wants a court to reject a suit claiming otherwise.

By Jonathan Berr Jan 31, 2013 11:22AM
A&E's 'Storage Wars' Lockbuster Tour at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on June 13, 2012 in Los Angeles, Calif. (Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)A&E Television Networks, which is owned Walt Disney (DIS), Hearst Corp. and Comcast (CMCSA), Tuesday asked a California court to throw out a lawsuit filed by a former cast member that claimed its hit show "Storage Wars" was rigged. 

According to the New York Daily News, A&E is trying to get a judge to quash David Hester's lawsuit on procedural grounds. Hester's accusation that the show was rigged was not addressed, though A&E has repeatedly denied suggestions that the show is faked. Hester, known for yelling "yup" when he bids, has alleged that A&E fired him when he refused to go along with the charade.

Hester's lawsuit, which seeks $2.2 million in damages, comes as A&E tries to expand its "Storage Wars" franchise with shows in Texas and New York. Rivals including Spike TV and truTv also have storage auction shows on their schedules.

"Storage Wars", which follows the adventures of a group of people in Southern California who purchase items abandoned in storage units, attracts about 4 million viewers on a weekly basis, making it one of the most popular shows on cable. The ratings are so strong that Entertainment Weekly wondered whether fans care if the show was faked, especially since other hit reality shows such as "Breaking Amish" and "The Hills" blurred the line between fact and fantasy.

One thing that is real about "Storage Wars" is the impact it has had on the storage industry.  Attendance at auctions, which were once pretty sleepy affairs has skyrocketed because of the show, as have prices the goods are fetching. Being a storage warrior, however, is much harder than it looks. For one thing, most of the goods in units are mundane household items. A fair number have drugs and pornography.  

While buyers do "score" some cool stuff on occasion, that is the exception rather than the rule. Most people have the sense to remove their valuables from a locker if they have fallen behind on the rent.

--Jonathan Berr doesn't think the "Storage Wars" will be the same without Dave Hester. He doesn't own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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Jan 31, 2013 5:28PM
Hester is a twit, can't make money for real yelling YUP, so he goes after the deep pockets to fill his own.  
Jan 31, 2013 5:27PM
The show may be fake. But whey did David closed his store. is he having money problems .that is why he needs to sue to get money
Jan 31, 2013 5:27PM
Reality TV is anything but reality.
Jan 31, 2013 5:26PM
I watch the show sometimes because it is good for a laugh now and then. But you have to understand it is a little phoney just like many other TV shows. Are you going to believe that when a hundred people are standing around at an auction that only four or five people,the same four or five people are the only ones that ever buy anything. Its just like many other shows,you have to keep reality in mind and take things with a grain of salt.
Jan 31, 2013 5:25PM
Generally, you score on a locker if the owner passed away and the family doesn't find out about it.
Jan 31, 2013 5:23PM
who cares if it's fake or not, i just like to look at brandy's ta-ta's....
Jan 31, 2013 5:21PM

Of course it's fake, it's reality TV.  Anyone who thinks otherwise has my pity.


The only thing that matters is whether or not it's entertaining.

Jan 31, 2013 5:19PM

There's no such thing as reality TV.There isn't one thing on any of those shows that isn't a set-up.People are told what to say & half the time the shows contain more beeps than dialogue.The biggest fakes are the losers on MTV.Who behaves like that in real life?The youth of today look up to these idots & have the stupidity to view them as celebrities.It's a sad world we live in today when shows like Jersey Shore are the most popular thing on the tube & you have to try to explain to your teenage son that his main focus in life should'nt be to get some girl drunk & "get it in"

Jan 31, 2013 5:17PM
Jan 31, 2013 5:11PM
All of those shows are phony!  It's just entertainment, folks.
Jan 31, 2013 5:07PM
What about the government, that's where most people learn corruption and lies ! plus the government and corrupt banks and businesses get away with crime, then our elected officials decide that the taxpayers get to pay for it all. Sounds like two separate sets of law to me ! But that's just my opinion I'm sure .
Jan 31, 2013 4:54PM
I enjoy watching it for a few minutes at a time. In real life I would try and find a way to push old Dave off of the tallest cliff I could find and holler YUPP as he splats on the sharp pointed rocks below.  
Jan 31, 2013 4:52PM

There is nothing true about tru-TV. Lizard Lick Towing and Operation Repo have some of the worst actors I have ever seen! And if you can't tell by the various camera angles and staged scenarios that those shows are fake, I'd like you to invest all your money in a company I'm starting.

Jan 31, 2013 4:50PM
There really is A "Gold and Silver"pawn shop in Las Vegas on Las Vegas Blvd.  The thing I enjoy about Pawn Stars is the history lesson behind many of the items.  Forget whether you think the show and characters are real or not and concentrate on the educational value of the history lesson being given by the experts called in on occassion to give a valuation to the items.  It sure as heck beats red neck white trash marathon called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. 
Jan 31, 2013 4:49PM
Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.
Jan 31, 2013 4:44PM
Jan 31, 2013 4:43PM
When the subjects of any "reality" show know there is a camera involved, it ceases to be "reality". Plain and simple.
Jan 31, 2013 4:42PM
Deadliest Catch is not fake.  I doubt there is much scripting that goes on in the middle of the Bering Sea.  One the few reality shows which is real.
Jan 31, 2013 4:40PM
Dave Hester was a jerk anyway. I cannot believe they kept him on the show as long as they did. Is it rigged???? Who Cares; it's TV.
Jan 31, 2013 4:35PM
poor poor dave.....  likes to dish it but could never take it good riddance !!!!
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