While "Storage Wars' " Dave Hester is best known for his "YUUUP'ing" abilities, the power seller has issued A&E and the show's production company a staunch "no" in court, suing the two groups for what he alleges was a wrongful termination.
According to a report by Radar, Hester was axed from the auction reality show after he complained to producers about the series being far from realistic.
Hester enlisted the services of powerhouse Beverly Hills attorney Marty Singer, who's represented the likes of Harry Reid, Charlie Sheen, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Quentin Tarantino.
Singer claims that show executives repeatedly made Hester provide items at his own expense to be planted in the storage lockers that he would later be required to purchase on the show. The practice, known as "salting," was paused when Hester complained, but continued in season two and three when production staff barred the show's buyers from using their own locks, enabling the companies to place items in the lockers at their own discretion.
This was done, Hester claims, to give the show's weaker buys an unfair competitive advantage. Hester, who's been in the storage locker buying business for over twenty years, claims his co-stars would not be able to compete with him if the producers had not interjected.
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Singer and Hester say A&E purposely placed valuable memorabilia in lockers that weren't part of the original contents. For example, Hester says old newspapers of Elvis Presley's death and a BMW mini were among staged items.
Staging, the suit claims, is a common practice on the show, and doesn't stop with individual items. Hester says Original Productions, which produces the show, fabricates whole units at a time.
“Hester is informed and believes that a company called Off the Wall Antiques provides Defendants [Original Productions and A&E] access to an entire warehouse full of marquee items, and in exchange, the owners of the establishment are regularly featured on the series,” according to the suit.
For bidders with slimmer coffers, producers sometimes shoulder the purchase price if it promotes what appears to be parity, Hester further alleges. He also says executives paid for an unnamed female cast member's plastic surgery to intensify the series' sex appeal.
As a whole, Hester is seeking damages from the wrongful termination, the maligning of his image, and the forced closure of his storefront business, which he says he had to shutter because demands from A&E program got to be too heavy on his personal enterprise.
A&E and Original Productions have long claimed that "Storage Wars" is 100 percent genuine.