All the Behind the Scenes Drama On Storage Wars
Storage Wars has upped the ante on antiquing for almost a decade. In each episode, a wild cast of characters searches for treasure by bidding on storage units in lots across America. It's like watching detectives play poker; gambling on what they think could be the next big score.
The crazy cast of Storage Wars provides us with reality TV gold, but rumors of behind-the-scenes drama run rampant. Check out these insider tidbits behind TV’s hidden treasure hunters.
Things Can Get Heated During Bidding
During a bidding shoot in 2015, production came to a halt when three of the biggest stars, Dan, Dave and Laura, got into a physical fight. Dan apparently didn’t see Mary Padian’s bid and ended the bidding war incorrectly. Hester did his best to call out the error, which irritated both Dan and Laura.
Robberies Can Be a Price to Pay for Cast Members
Storage Wars stars Rene and Casey Nezhoda are victims of overexposure mixed with a lack of security. Their bids and conquests on the show are clearly documented, so viewers have a good idea of all the goodies they take back to their second-hand shop, Bargain Hunters Thrift Store.
Digital Robberies Are Also at Play For the Stars
The Dotsons were also victims of a crime, just not the breaking-and-entering type. In 2012, the dynamic duo were the unfortunate victims of a cyber attack. Computer hackers broke into their bank accounts, stealing several credit card accounts and personal data.
Jarrod Schulz’s Sketchy Past
The producers aren't the only shady parts of the program. The cast also has their own skeletons. Storage Wars star Jarrod Schulz may have mentioned his dark past on the show, but what actually happened was a mystery to viewers. That is, of course, until someone ran a quick search on the internet to pick up the details.
The Abandoned Lockers May Not Be Intentionally Abandoned
There is a certain amount of time and failed rent payments that have to take place before a locker can go on sale. Once enough time has passed, the lockers can go up for auction and the cameras can capture the bidding. But do that many people forget about their storage lockers? The most likely reasons why they're abandoned are downright depressing.
Darrell Sheets Stalked His Way into a Relationship
Sheets was driving down the road when he spotted real estate agent Kimber Wuerfel in another car. They had a brief eye contact exchange before parting, but that wasn't enough for Sheets. Enamored, Sheets followed Wuerfel for miles down the road, hoping to catch her attention.
A Potential Paper Trail Behind the Bidding
Adding fuel to rumors of foul play on the show, a source went to Radar Online in 2012 to provide more dirt. In the article, the source revealed, "There are invoices, checks, and other documentation where the production company actually compensated cast members for supplying items that got planted in lockers and then discovered on camera".
Dave Hester’s Legendary Lawsuit Exposes the Show
Storage Wars' resident bad boy Dave Hester publicly accused the show of being fake back in 2012. In a lawsuit he filed against the network, Hester accused A&E of wrongful termination, unfair business practices and a breach of contract.
The Stars Make Way More Money Than You Think
While the cast of the show may appear to look far from affluent during bids, the stars bank accounts would beg to differ. According to Hester’s lawsuit, searching through other people’s left behind junk would earn him a staggering $25,000 per episode with a guaranteed minimum of 26 episodes.
Inside Dan and Laura Dotson’s Miracle Marriage
The two auctioneers met in '96. Laura found herself drawn to Dan’s fast-talking and high energy personality. "When I saw him auctioneering all over the place, I thought to myself, I’m going to marry that man." They looked at each other, knew they were a perfect match for each other, and got married.
Exec Producer Admits to Some Production Meddling
One of the show's executive producers, Thom Beers, came to the show’s defense and backed its authenticity during a live panel discussion. Beers confidently said, "I can honestly tell you that the stuff found in those containers are found in storage containers."
A&E Brought Hester Back for Good Reason
Storage Wars and other shows always have rumors about their legitimacy, but when a cast member files legal documents, that ups the ante on the rumor. Yet, the show brought Hester back after quietly settling with him. Wonder why? We have a theory.
Schulz’s Suspicious Start with Storage Wars
After Schulz served his time, he looked to his family for help. His aunt was managing a public storage facility as Schulz was trying to get back on his feet. His aunt must have shown him something he liked in that facility because it gave him his first taste for antiques.
A&E Claims the First Amendment Amid Rumors
During Hester's lawsuit, A&E claimed the First Amendment protects the show from any accusations of fake storytelling. The judge agreed and claimed that the reality show is ultimately free speech. This is a major red flag for anyone who loves reality TV shows for their honest storytelling.
Producers May Even the Playing Field During Bids
In Hester's lawsuit with A&E, he also claimed the network helped raise the stakes during the bidding process. Hester said the network would sometimes help pay for lockers bid on by less successful and inexperienced members of the cast.
Brandi Passante’s Pesky Lawsuit
In 2012, Passante found herself in a very precarious position. Actually, it wasn’t her in the precarious position, which was precisely the problem. Controversial x-rated video vender of the early 2010's Hunter Moore claimed to have a personal video of the reality star.
Beers Also Confirmed There Are Writers on the Show
During the same interview, Beers confessed the show employs writers for the cast members. This helps in particular during one-on-one interviews with cast members, who could use a little help sharing their stories. So writers will often give them cues to help get them to talk.
Bidders Might Bid on Nothing, Just in Case
The way the bidding process is filmed may also contribute to rumors about the show being fake. In Hester’s lawsuit, he revealed, "While on location filming an auction, Defendants also film footage of the cast members and the public bidding when no actual auction is taking place."
Possible Plastic Surgery For A Castmember?
Hester’s lawsuit made several allegations, but this one stands out as the most bizarre. He alleged that one of the show’s cast members underwent plastic surgery to create more sex appeal for the show. The weirdest detail in Hester’s lawsuit alleges that the show actually footed the bill for the surgery.
Trey Songz is NOT a Fan of Storage Wars
Let’s make one thing clear: Hester makes good reality television. He knows how to push people’s buttons and how to throw outrageous earworms at the viewers. His most notable catchphrase, "YUUUP!" was his golden ticket to cashing in on his reality TV fame with "YUUUP" merchandise.
Barry Weiss’ Business Life Pre Storage Wars Fame
Not every cast member gets their big score on the show. Some cast members, like the self-proclaimed ‘ladies man’ Barry Weiss, didn’t need to be such aggressive bidders. The reason? He and his brother ran his father’s successful fruit and vegetable distribution company until they sold it for millions.
One Cast Member’s Son Was Convicted of First Degree Murder
Storage Wars has had several different spin-offs in Miami, Texas, New York and Canada. Storage Wars: Miami, got cut short after 10 episodes in 2015. The reason? Kevin Pew, one of the stars of the show, had a son who committed homicide during the airing of the show.
A Run-In with The Law Changed One Star’s Perspective on Life
Dave Hester and his gigantic personality was once convicted of a DUI in 2005. As a result, Hester's sentencing included community service at a local Goodwill store. He had to take in the donated goods, organize them, and help sell the items for a profit.
Hard Truths from Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow is TV’s original (and more honest) antique appraisal show. Its executive producer Marsha Bemko responded to questions about Storage Wars and said, "Storage Wars is merely an entertainment show that adds more interest in Antiques Roadshows' more honest appraisal process." Ouch.
Buying is Really Only Half the Battle
Storage Wars: New York star Mike Braiotta revealed the show doesn't show enough of the entire bidding and appraising process. For example, bidding is one talent, but according to Braiotta, if you’re not connected to the right people to sell the merchandise, then you’re in trouble.
Mark Balelo’s Unfortunate Public Police Encounter
In early 2013, Storage Wars cast member Balelo found himself arrested for possession of methamphetamine. It was not a large enough quantity to distribute, so authorities suspected he was likely using it himself. This wasn't Balelo's first run-in with the law, but it would be his last.
Bidders Who Aren’t Stars Sometimes Make Out Better Than The Stars
The show’s fans likely miss out on a lot of interesting finds because the show only has airtime space for the cast’s findings. As the show became more popular, there’s been an increase in auction attendance, reportedly up to four times the original amount of bidders.
Reality TV Fame is a Family Affair
Barry Weiss is the kind of guy that's made for reality tv. It may even run in the family, because Weiss is the godfather to reality tv star Jesse James. James is the motorcycle customizer who appeared on a series of motorcycle-related reality tv shows on the Discovery Channel.
The Show Will Go To Great Lengths to Cut Its Stars’ Pay
Darrell Sheets, or The Gambler, as he’s known on the show, got a very unfortunate surprise in 2015 when he learned his pay would be slashed by 50%. That’s a tough notice to get from your job out of the blue, so you can imagine his frustration.
Improper Pre Appraisal Practices
Not everything found in the show’s storage lockers is actually found in the storage lockers. According to anonymous sources, sometimes producers would have things appraised weeks before they made it on the show. This completely goes against the central idea of Storage Wars.