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'Storage Wars'

Lawsuit Claims

Show is RIGGED

12/11/2012 10:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

1211-dave-hester-tmz-complaint
"Storage Wars" -- the hit A&E show -- is deceiving viewers by making it seem contestants are bidding on unseen items, when the best goods are actually planted inside ... this according to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ.

The lawsuit -- filed by the former star, David Hester -- claims he was axed when he complained to producers about the alleged rigging practices.

Hester claims in one case producers planted a BMW mini car under a pile of trash.  In another case, Hester alleges producers planted a pile of old newspapers that announced the death of Elvis.  For some reason, that's a valuable commodity.

And Hester goes on ... claiming the show even gave less than photogenic cast members money for plastic surgery to "create more sex appeal."

Hester claims in the suit he was wrongfully terminated because he blew the whistle.

But Dan Dotson -- the guy behind the show's auction company -- disagrees, telling TMZ, every unit seen on the show is legit and has a seal on it before they open it ... making it impossible for A&E to tamper with the units before filming begins.

Dan adds, “We only sell legitimate units on Storage Wars. Every unit goes through a 64-day legal process and no one has access to units prior to auction.”

A rep for A&E tells TMZ, "We do not know about a lawsuit being filed and we do not comment on pending or threatened litigation."

788 COMMENTS

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76.

The Moogly    

What about the people who run the storage units? Don't you think they would get all the good stuff before the auction?

628 days ago
77.

jacksonfive210    

Barry is the man

628 days ago
78.

red1969    

in the 80's-90's we bought units to resale, as well as many friends. in 1000's of units bought only saw a very few that had treasures and then were't anything like that show's.

we always did better at auctions/garage sales

628 days ago
79.

yenny    

Love the show, even if it's staged, it's a reality show that's supposed to entertain, it's not a do***entary or news show. What's funny is Dave calling the show phony, when he overprices on purpose ALL his findings! The episode where he found boxes of outdated computer equipment, said he would get at least $100 a piece, in reality, he'd be lucky if he could give them away! My family has been dealing with antiques for years, all of Dave's stuff is not priced right. Now that he's gone from the show, bring on more Barry!!! Would love to see a spin off show of Barry, his life just seems so interesting! And who didn't love when Barry won the bet over the "antique" couch from tightwad Hester! LMAO! YUUUPP!

628 days ago
80.

JFO    

If this is true why doesn't Dave give back the items and/or money he made while on the show??? And maybe he wasn't invited back because he asked for too much money and now this is his way of getting back at A&E????

628 days ago
81.

edswoggle    

I don't care...I'm a wrestling fan; I'm used to the things I like to watch on TV being fake. I would like to think that if stuff is planted, that A&E would know what it is, but not necessarily the buyers would....either way, I don't care, and will continue to watch the Cali version of the show (not a big fan of the Texas one)

628 days ago
82.

Kenneth    

As someone who manages a storage facility and knows the procedures.. Kinda obvious how fake the show is, still fun to watch *at times*. But it does make it harder when people expect our auctions to be like the TV show.. "You didn't cut the lock in front of us, they cut them on TV so yours is rigged" Uh no, the locks are cut WEEKS before an actual auction. That just shows how fake the show is.

628 days ago
83.

mj1michey    

out of about everyone on that show irking my nerves, this guy is worst of them all. his yuuuppp's made me want to come out of my skin. hate that stupid show-i don't watch.

628 days ago
84.

creeeeech    

Hester, you idiot. I hated you on the show and when I saw you at the pasadena flea market trying to make money off your 5 minutes of fame it made me sick to my stomach. GO AWAY, loser.

628 days ago
85.

msmoeliss    

NO...it can't be. how could they ever have decieved us this way. (Sarcasm)

628 days ago
86.

Bill Sellers    

Is anyone really surprised by this? "Reality" shows are anything but reality. Rick on "Pawn Stars" came out recently saying his own show was rigged. The ultra rare paingtings and antiquities that people bring in to pawn or sell frequently come from museums and traveling exhibits. That's why I won't watch these shows. They're phony!

628 days ago
87.

Em    

What's hilarious is that people are acting like this is shocking news!!!! All of them are fake!!

Pawn Stars- rigged (real store but staged products)
Breaking Amish (fake)
Amish Mafia (reenactments)
All animal catching/hunting shows- (reenactments)
Kardashians (scripted)
Neat Freaks (scripted)
Can I go on???

All shows can't have camera crews just following people around all day. It would cost thousands in production costs. Everything has to be planned out for filming. Heck, even Turtle Man has to go with the script.

628 days ago
88.

jacksonfive210    

Barry is the man!! I only watch the show really late at night when I can't sleep but of course it's scripted. This lawsuit might have something to do with Hester loosing alot of money in the past and is looking for a quick settlement offer.

628 days ago
89.

Yup    

Knowing what lying dishonest sc*mbags reality TV show producers are, I totally believe this guy.

628 days ago
90.

Tom Feller    

Does anyone think they are going to show opening up old boring lockers with little or nothing of surprising value in them... Who would watch???

628 days ago
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