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'Storage Wars' Star to A&E

Pay Up or

I'm OUT!!

3/5/2015 1:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The A&E hit show "Storage Wars" could lose one of its biggest stars ... because of guys who are younger, cheaper and hungrier.

Sources connected to "Storage Wars" veteran Darrell Sheets tell us the network is going to cut his pay in half, from around $30k an episode to $15k.

And there's more bad news for Sheets ... we're told he's slated to appear in only 4 of the show's 26 episodes. Sheets thinks the handwriting is on the wall -- he's being phased out so the network can put in new guys who will work for a lot less.

Our Sheets sources say he's willing to walk, because he's gotten offers to do other TV shows.

A rep from A&E tells TMZ they plan to go forward with the season,  whether Darrell's a part of it or not.

'Storage Wars' Star Dan Dotson

Released From Hospital

After Double Brain Aneurysm

6/30/2014 12:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Storage Wars" auctioneer Dan Dotson was released from the hospital Sunday ... and Dan says his double brain aneurysm didn't cause any permanent damage.

Dan tells us he's allowed to return to work in 2 weeks ... but for now, doctors have ordered him to rest at home and check his blood pressure every hour.

Dan tells us it was a miracle he survived -- crediting his team of doctors for saving his life.

The reality star is vowing to turn his health around now that he's been given a second chance.

Now that's a good deal. 

'Storage Wars' Star Dan Dotson

I'm Done Smoking

Double Brain Aneurysm Scared Me Straight

6/22/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
0621-dan-dotson-hospital-tmz-02"Storage Wars" star Dan Dotson made an important life decision after suffering a double brain aneurysm Monday ... he's giving up on smoking cigarettes for good.

Laura Dotson tells TMZ her husband immediately decided to quit smoking after he woke up from a successful surgery on Wednesday -- because doctors said it would greatly reduce the risk of a repeat incident.

We're told Dan's excited to finally be smoke-free -- he's been puffing for 40 years -- and his 16-year-old son was so inspired by the move, he also pledged to focus on living healthier.


'Storage Wars' Star Dan Dotson

Reality Cameras Rolling

During Aneurysm Surgery

6/21/2014 12:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
0621-dan-dotson-tmz-02The double brain aneurysm emergency that almost killed "Storage Wars" star Dan Dotson has been chronicled for all to see ... we're told producers actually filmed the scary surgery.

Laura Dotson tells TMZ ... producers rushed to the hospital to film the procedure-- and it will more than likely be featured on Season 6.

We're told Dan's blood pressure has returned to normal levels ... and he suffered  no paralysis ... good news, because doctors feared partial facial paralysis.

As we previously reported, the surgery was a success -- and even though Dotson is doing better than expected, his hospital stay will be long.

'Storage Wars' Star Dan Dotson

Suffers Double Brain Aneurysm

6/20/2014 7:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dan Dotson Brain Aneurysm
"Storage Wars" auctioneer Dan Dotson was rushed to a hospital in Palm Springs Monday afternoon after suffering a double brain aneurysm ... and doctors said he only had a slight chance of survival.

Dotson's wife Laura Dotson tells TMZ ... Dan woke Monday morning around 1 AM asking weird questions in his sleep -- and when he got up again around 7:30 AM things took a turn for the worse.

Laura says Dan complained about having double vision and not feeling right -- so he went back to sleep. Dan got up a few hours later to take a shower, got out, and collapsed.

Laura says he turned blue, so she worked with an 911 operator to administer CPR.

Laura says Dan actually suffered two aneurysms -- one behind the eye and another in his neck the size of an apricot. He was given a 4%-20% chance of survival.

Luckily his surgery Tuesday afternoon was a success ... we're told he's doing better than expected but he's by no means out of the woods.

Gay 'Storage Wars' Stars

'Duck Dynasty' Hater Is


12/18/2013 11:56 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
An openly gay couple on A&E's "Storage Wars: New York" is NOT offended by the homophobic comments made by fellow A&E'er and "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson -- telling TMZ, they just feel bad for him ... because man ass beats vagina any day of the week.

Chris Morelli and Tad Eaton tell us, "We could give a s**t what he thinks ... [man ass] is tighter."

As we reported, Phil talked about how a vagina is more desirable than a man's anus, and how homosexuality and bestiality are the same sin.

But Chris and Tad aren't fazed, telling us, "You can't go through life worrying what other people think. That's their values and that's what they think ... as long as they're not nasty to people ... We're not offended at all."

In fact, Chris and Tad say they're still big fans of Phil: "We like Phil. We like the show. We like the fact that they are very godly. When we watch the show and see them say grace, we feel the same way."

As for Phil's belief that gay people won't go to heaven ... Chris and Tad say simply, "How does [Phil] know that? Is he God?"

'Storage Wars' Star

I Dropped $3,000 on

Tila Tequila's Old Crap

2/21/2013 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

If Tila Tequila wants her old Louis Vuitton purse back ... it's too damn bad ... 'cause one of the stars of "Storage Wars" officially took ownership of the bag, along with a bunch of Tila crap, after winning a storage auction in L.A. ... TMZ has learned. 

The person who bought the storage unit is Nabila Haniss -- who bid just under $3k for the unit after only getting a few minutes to scope it out (the same way it happens on the show).

Once she took ownership, Haniss says she was convinced the unit belonged to Tila based on all of the stuff inside ... including self-portraits, a personal diary, racks of clothes, pictures, Louis Vuitton bags, and personal memoirs about TT's engagement to heiress Casey Johnson, who passed away in 2010.

Haniss says she reached out to Tila about the purchase -- but never heard back -- and now believes the troubled reality star's not even aware her unit was foreclosed on.

Haniss says her next move is to sell the contents on eBay.

FUN STORAGE FACT: Haniss bought Paris Hilton's foreclosed storage unit back in 2004 -- and later sold it all off for a small fortune to the person who created the site

Thanks to our friends at Storage Treasures​ for the pics.


'Storage Wars' Suicide

Mark Balelo Cremated

Family Making Final Plans

2/16/2013 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
0215-mark-balelo-facebook"Storage Wars" star Mark Balelo's body was cremated, days after he committed suicide, but his family is still undecided about where to place his ashes ... TMZ has learned.

We broke the story ... Mark died Monday from carbon monoxide poisoning -- he left his car running in his garage 2 days after he was arrested for drugs.

Sources connected to the family tell us they had Mark's body cremated Thursday, and plan to hold a small memorial service next weekend.

We're told the family hasn't figured out what to do with Mark's ashes yet ... but will make a final decision before the service.

'Storage Wars' Star

Compared Himself to Russell Armstrong Before Suicide

2/13/2013 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The night before "Storage Wars" star Mark Balelo took his own life ... he compared himself to another reality star who killed himself -- "Real Housewives" star Russell Armstrong ... TMZ has learned. 

Sources close to Balelo tell us ... the A&E star was extremely concerned about his recent drug arrest -- and was worried that it would affect his future on the show.

We're told Balelo was very stressed out ... and said he could sympathize with Armstrong ... who committed suicide after reports surfaced that he physically abused his wife and had fallen in deep financial trouble.

Balelo said he "understood" why Armstrong would resort to such drastic action ... because the thought of public humiliation was too much for him to handle.

As we first reported, Balelo killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning early Monday morning.

'Storage Wars' Star

Commits Suicide

Days After Drug Arrest

2/12/2013 5:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
0211_mark-balelo_facebook"Storage Wars" star Mark Balelo killed himself today by carbon monoxide poisoning ... TMZ has learned.

Multiple sources close to Balelo tell us he was found dead in his car ... which was parked and running in the garage at his auction house in Simi Valley, CA.

According to our sources, Balelo had been arrested for a drug-related offense on Saturday.

We're told when Balelo got out of jail he was distraught, and asked his fiancée to come over because he was afraid he might hurt himself.

We're told they met at his office on Sunday, they talked for a few hours, he took a 4 hour nap -- and when he woke up seemed better.

The fiancée left Balelo at the office Sunday evening. We're told one of Balelo's employees found his body Monday morning.

Balelo appeared on a handful of "Storage Wars" episodes over the past few seasons.

Law enforcement sources tell us an autopsy will be conducted tomorrow.

'Storage Wars'

Lawsuit Claims

Show is RIGGED

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

'Storage Wars' Stars

Idiot Hackers Tried to

Jack All Our Money!

7/11/2012 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Bad News
: Two A&E stars from "Storage Wars" almost lost their life's savings when a couple of cyber criminals hijacked their financial accounts last week.

The Good news: The thieves were REALLY dumb.

TMZ spoke with Dan and Laura Dotson -- the auctioneers from  "S. Wars" -- who tell us the hackers remotely broke into their home computer and stole all sorts of critical information, including credit card and bank account numbers.

But the Internet thieves pulled a rookie mistake ... and tried to make some MAJOR purchases all at once ... which immediately raised a red flag with the credit card's security team.

Once the Dotsons were alerted to the situation, they obviously denied the charges -- and quickly  cancelled their cards and changed their account passwords.

It gets worse ... while still connected to the reality TV stars' computer ... the perps began to chat over instant message about the heist in progress. Laura, thinking quickly, took a screen grab of the convo.

Laura and Dan tell us they've already reached out to authorities ... and hope to press charges as soon as cops can identify the culprits.

'Storage Wars' Star

and Trey Songz --

YUUUP ... They've Settled

6/23/2012 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Did Trey Songz and 'Storage Wars" star David Hester settle their dueling lawsuits over the phrase YUUUP? YUUUP!

Did TMZ first report that Songz and Hester each filed dueling complaints in New York, because each wanted the right to sell merchandise with the aforementioned phrase of affirmation? YUUUP!

Did lawyers for both parties file docs this week dismissing their lawsuits? YUUUP!

Were the terms of the settlement made public? NOPE

Are you as tired of this gag as we are? Don't answer that ...

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