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 7:32PM
I manage a self storage facility in Southern California and the mine is salted. There are 2 auctions. One includes all of the background people that you see on the property. That auction is held first and it is the legitimate one. Then the second auction is held with only the actors winning the bidding process. You may see a non-actor bid occasionaly but you might also notice that those people never win the bid. I have had hundeds of auctions and only once was there so called "TREASURE" found. It's faked.
Jan 31, 2013 7:30PM
Really ,why would someone leave anything of value in a storage unit if they needed the money to pay the rental unit fees?

Now some people die, or go to prison. But what about next of kin? Brothers,sisters or cousins. Wouldn't a person who's going to loose their valuables like gold,jewelry and safes at least tell a family member or friend and see them get it instead of the rental storage facilty or a stranger?

Jan 31, 2013 7:21PM
Has to be otherwise Dave would have had his **** kicked by now!
Jan 31, 2013 7:18PM
Who cares some dummy's out there pay to watch wrestling too and others get breast implants. Eric Holder only believes in gun control for the american people but not for the cartels.
Jan 31, 2013 7:11PM
Jan 31, 2013 7:08PM
The people on the shows bidding away on crap are making fortunes not off the crap, but off the show paying them.
Jan 31, 2013 7:04PM
Of course its phony.  I know someone who went to empty those things for years.  Never anyone at the "auctions" and a lot of the units no one was even willing to bid on, so he got paid for cleaning them out.  All those years looking for the big "find", nothing.  But each week these people hit something of rare value hidden away.  And the girls are definately getting botoxed and breasts as the show goes on.
Jan 31, 2013 6:58PM
Funny, last I heard most shows on TV are rigged, but who cares. That's why they call it entertainment. If any of you believe these shows are real it's time to turn in your permit to carry! I never liked Dave anyway he seemed liked a greedy prick out to screw everyone on the show.
Jan 31, 2013 6:40PM
Brandi is fake...they paid for her boob job. Haha
Jan 31, 2013 6:29PM
Sure are A LOT of comment today............but of the shows are fake.
Jan 31, 2013 6:19PM
Of course it's real just like pro wrestling. And if you believe that's real..I want to know who turned the TV on for you.
Jan 31, 2013 6:18PM

I liked Swamp Loggers but it got canceled. No violence, no cussing, good people, interesting situations, integrated crew.


I found it facinating and wish it would have been picked up by someone else. Oh well.

Jan 31, 2013 6:15PM
i watch the show and have attended a many storage sale, one thing i notice that there is never a plastic christmas tree in any lockers and all the sales i have been to have at least  1 tree in the building , that is why i think it is fake, but how cares it is entertainment
Jan 31, 2013 6:13PM
I like Brandi- but I hear she is fake too.
Jan 31, 2013 6:00PM
I believe it is like most reality shows, 90 percent fake.  As for D. Hester, he's not a nice person anyway.  Glad he's gone.   I ageee that most people arn't supid enough to leave valuable behind like they lead us to believe.  I have been at some auctions and none of the people behaved anything like they do on the show.  It all show.
Jan 31, 2013 5:46PM
Do they actually wage war on storage or do they pit different types of storage against one another in a fight to the death?? In this corner a medium sized Tupperware container!
Jan 31, 2013 5:44PM

Come on people, have you ever wondered how they just happen to be recording a show when there are units that almost everyone makes a profit off of.  The article above just said that it is rare to find a locker with anything in it of much value.  It's the same with the pawn shows.  At first, it was fun to watch.  Never believed it was all real, but now I just find them all the same and over over over done.


As long as we keep watching this STUFF, they will keep producing so we have no one to blame but ourselves.  The sad part is when I watch this junk it's because there is nothing else on.  I should learn to pick up a book and read instead, you know, brighten my horizons.

Jan 31, 2013 5:37PM
TV "is" for entertainment, as long as it entertains you who gives a sh@#. I don't believe any of these shows anymore than I would believe a episode of "Leave it to Beaver" If it makes me laugh I'm good with it.
Jan 31, 2013 5:32PM
EVERY "reality" show is phony.  Geez, you should know that by now.
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