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The Real Reason Why Dave Hester Was Fired From Storage Wars

Whether you love him or hate him, Dave Hester from "Storage Wars" is one of those characters you can't live without. Famously known for his loud catchphrase "YUUPP!" when making a bid, Hester is an original cast member who has been an anchor for most of the existence of the show, which premiered on A&E Network on Dec. 1, 2010. Although Hester is still with the show today, some fans may notice he wasn't a part of Season 4. This wasn't because of a holiday or personal time; rather, Hester was fired. 

This may come as a shock to some fans, but it's true. It appears the main character had a breakdown and revealed some sensitive information regarding the show. This resulted in A&E firing Hester, which then resulted in a wrongful termination lawsuit. It doesn't stop there, either. 

Take a look at some of the things that happened during this time, and find out the real reason why Hester was fired from "Storage Wars."

Hester alleges it was fake all along

It all started in 2012, two years after the show first aired. Three seasons of the show had gone by, and Hester can't keep quiet any longer. Hester, otherwise known as "The Mogul," filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Superior Court against A&E and Original Production, claiming everything about Storage Wars was staged

"The truth is that Defendants regularly salt or plant the storage lockers that are the subject of the auctions portrayed on the Series with valuable or unusual items to create drama and suspense for the show," read the complaint. "Defendants have even gone so far as to stage entire storage units and will enlist the cooperation of the owners of the storage facilities to stage entire units."

The lawsuit went on to make several other claims about "Storage Wars." According to the case, the interviews and auctions are also staged. Hester also claimed that the network paid for certain female stars to receive plastic surgery. Finally, the lawsuit also alleged that A&E pays for storage units for those who can't afford them. 

"In addition, Original pays for the storage lockers bid on by certain cast members, but not others, in order to give the weaker cast members an advantage over the more experienced and successful bidders such as Hester," the complaint noted.

Throughout the lawsuit, it was made clear that Hester was "not comfortable participating in this charade."

A&E was not happy with these claims

A&E and Original Productions weren't too happy about this. The show barely took off and gained traction when their star bidder pulled the rug from under them and revealed it was all a lie. At the time, "Storage Wars" was averaging 4 million viewers and was the network's second most popular show, only trailing behind "Duck Dynasty." As a result, A&E terminated Dave Hester. 

"We don't comment on pending litigation," A&E spokesman Dan Silberman told USA Today. Additionally, the network said in a statement that "there is no staging involved. The items uncovered in the storage units are the actual items featured on the show."

Hester sought out $750,000 in damages from A&E and Original Productions for wrongful termination. A&E then responded by claiming the composition of the show is covered by the First Amendment. The network also said the Communication Act of 1934 does not apply to the show because it does not involve "chance," "intellectual knowledge," or "intellectual skill," and is therefore not a game show. A&E won a partial victory in the lawsuit after a federal judge tossed out Hester's claim of unfair business practices. 

Hester won one of his claims towards the end of 2013, but eventually, he and A&E came to a settlement. Thankfully, there was no bad blood between the two parties, and they agreed Hester would make a return to the show.

Dave Hester returns for season 4

This wasn't enough to detour the immediate success of "Storage Wars," as Hester returned the following season, and the show continued until 2019 before returning in 2021 for its 13th season. Hester is still seen in the latest episodes and is back for Season 13 along with mainstays such as Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz, but he doesn't appear to be the same as before. 

Hester suffered a hemorrhagic stroke due to high blood pressure and sleep apnea. The stroke was severe enough for Hester to believe he was going to die. As a result, the star has taken some time to recover, so he isn't in a lot of the newer episodes. Unfortunately, many other stars on the show also suffered medical conditions, leading some fans to believe there is a curse on the series. Many believe the curse was initiated by the lawsuit. 

Today, Hester is focusing on his health and operating his own auction business, Dave Hester Auctioneer.