In response to ex-Storage Wars star Dave Hester’s six-figure lawsuit alleging fraud and fakery on the show, A&E has filed a response that attempts to paint Hester as a disgruntled former employee — while not exactly denying his charges.
In fact, according to The Hollywood Reporter, A&E is claiming Hester’s suit is nothing more than “tabloid-worthy drama” to distract from the fact that Hester was unceremoniously fired from the show.
A&E’s response reads: “In a transparent attempt to distract from the issues — and maximize any potential recovery — Plaintiff’s Complaint tries to convert a garden-variety breach of contract claim into a tabloid-worthy drama in which Hester portrays himself as a crusading whistleblower. But setting aside the notable inconsistencies in his exaggerated self-portrait, the law does not permit such sophistry.”
In Hester’s suit, he accuses Storage Wars producers of planting rare, valuable items in storage lockers to guarantee exciting “reveals,” as well as scripting the cast-members’ comments in interview segments (to which anyone who has seen the show interviews can only respond: “Well, duh!”).
Furthermore, A&E claims that Hester never raised concerns about this alleged planting of items until after he failed to renegotiate his contract and was dumped from the show. “Among other things, Plaintiff says that he participated in the very conduct he simultaneously claims was ‘fraudulent’ and ‘illegal,’ namely, the purported ‘salting’ of storage lockers with valuable items and the ‘scripting’ of some portions of the reality television program,” continues A&E’s response.
As A&E points out, Hester’s allegations that this “salting” constitutes fraud are based on the Communications Act of 1934, which The Hollywood Reporter points out “makes it illegal for broadcasters to rig a contest of intellectual skill with the intent to deceive the viewing public.” Interestingly enough, A&E doesn’t deny any of Hester’s allegations, but points out that the Communications Act of 1934 “does not apply to cable television,” which would exonerate Storage Wars from any wrongdoing.