Pawn Stars may be one of the most successful cable reality shows ever made. With 522 episodes over 15 seasons, the show has been a staple of The History Channel’s lineup for almost a decade. The show has also spawned several spin-off series and imitators including, Cajun Pawn Stars, Pawn Stars UK, Pawnography, Pawn Stars Australia, and Hardcore Pawn.
When he was discovered in 2008, Rick Harrison had already been trying to pitch a show about his shop for four years believing that his family and the eclectic items in his shop would make for interesting television. While this may seem like a simple idea for a show, in reality, a lot of dirty secrets have been swept under the rug. Because most of the details that go into every episode of the show are determined behind the scenes, the audience only gets part of the story behind Gold and Silver Pawn and the people who work there.
From stolen merchandise to illegal substance use and felony gun charges, a lot has gone on behind the scenes and some of the best secrets have been caught on camera.
Here are 17 Pictures The Guys From Pawn Stars Don’t Want You To See.
17. Chumlee’s Checkered Past With The Law
It should be no surprise to anyone who watches Pawn Stars that, from time to time, Chumlee can make dumb decisions, but nobody could have predicted what happened on March 9th, 2016. On that day, Chumlee’s house was raided as part of an investigation into assault allegations. During the search, police found a few different illegal substances and a gun.
To make matters worse, during a follow-up search, police again found 11 illegally owned firearms that included pistols, a shotgun, an MP5, and .223-caliber rifles. Police also found 17 multi-dose bars of Xanax and more illegal substances on the property. Chumlee was later arrested and was released later that day. He was charged with 20 felony counts, including substance and weapons charges.
16. Olivia Black had some personal things on her phone that leaked
Despite only appearing in 13 episodes, Olivia Black, the shop’s night clerk, was a fan favorite; at least until she got fired in 2013.
The firing came after a mature photoshoot Olivia had done surfaced online.
“A morality clause would typically provide cause for termination in the event that the talent participates in any activity that would be deemed to be morally scandalous or improper behavior,” a lawyer named Robert DeBrauwere explained to Fox News in 2012. “Certain examples may even be present in the employment agreement.”
15. Rick’s Controversial Statement About Bathroom Usage
In October of 2015, Rick Harrison threw his endorsement behind Republican presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio. In a CNN interview, Harrison claimed the endorsement cost him financially before adding some personal opinions that sparked controversy.
“You have some cities that are saying that if you have a man who feels like he’s a woman, he can use the women’s restroom,” Harrison said in the interview. “I guarantee you that will be taken advantage of by some very bad men who want to go into a bathroom where there’s young ladies.”
Critics of Harrison denounced the comment as “transphobic” and pointed to the fact that no crimes have been reported in areas with LGBT nondiscrimination protections already in place. Despite making disparaging comments against him in 2015, Rick Harrison also made appearances for Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016 and even attended his inauguration in January 2017.
14. There’s A Parody Of The Show That’s A Little Different
The original name of Rick Harrison’s show was supposed to be Pawning History, but a staff member at Leftfield Pictures, the company that produces the show, suggested the name Pawn Stars as a possible hook for viewers because of its play on a phrase to describe adult workers.
In May of 2011, the play on words came full circle as a mature website made a parody of the famous reality show.
The parody features stand-ins for Rick Harrison and Chumlee, a woman trying to sell a collection of used toys, and an inexplicable Kid Rock impersonator who tries to sell one of his groupies. It was as strange as you’d imagine.
Fortunately, Pawn Stars seems to be the only History Channel show to receive the parody treatment in that industry. Hopefully, the world will never experience versions of American Pickers or Ice Road Truckers.
13. Rick’s Serious Issues With His Wife’s Incarcerated Ex
In 2013, Rick Harrison married his third wife, a 38-year-old legal worker named DeAnna Burditt, but his new bride was worried that her convict ex-husband would show up and ruin their wedding. Her ex-husband, a 45-year-old former school custodian named Richard Burditt, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for having an inappropriate relationship with a minor in 2009.
To make matter worse, Richard Burditt remained free on bail for four years after being sentenced. It wasn’t until 2013 that Burditt was finally behind bars.
“Rick is sleeping better now that his wife’s ex-hubby is finally behind bars,” a family insider told The National Enquirer in 2013. “Burditt’s case was caught up in a bureaucracy. He should have been put away years ago.”
12. Chumlee’s Guilty Plea
On May 23rd, 2016, Chumlee was charged with 20 felony counts, including substance and weapons charges. He was released from prison the day after he was arrested, but was ordered to appear in court on March 11th, 2016.
Chumlee hired David Chesnoff as his lawyer and later plead guilty.
Chumlee was given three years of probation as part of his plea deal. He also has to attend counseling and forfeit the property seized by the police. The gun charges will be dropped in 2019 if Chumlee completes the terms of his probation and no charges were brought for the initial allegation that sparked the raid on his house.
11. Chumlee Had To Sell His $1.8 Million Dollar Home
Perhaps to help pay for the cost of his legal fees, in July 2017, Chumlee decided to put his Las Vegas mansion up for sale. The property, listed at 6240 W Patrick Lane in Las Vegas, was put up for sale for the low price of $1.8 million.
It has five bedroom and six bathrooms with over 6,000 square feet of space.
According to Chumlee’s real estate agent, the house has, “exotic Brazilian countertops and flooring, Venetian plaster, crown molding, paint throughout, electrical system (breakers/plugs/switches/lighting), custom cabinets, roofing including new skylights and a rooftop deck with a perfect Strip view.”
10. Corey’s Arrest After A Tussle At A Bar
It may be difficult to tell, but this is a picture of Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison just before he was arrested for battery on March 21st, 2011. Corey was booked into a Southern California jail on suspicion of battery and resisting arrest. Corey was at Murray’s Saloon and Eatery in Big Bear Lake, California when he got into an argument with another patron. The argument reportedly got bad enough that one of the security guards at the bar had to flag down a cop to keep the confrontation from getting violent.
After an officer arrived on the scene, Corey reportedly shoved one of the bar’s security guards before also shoving a cop. Corey was arrested and kept in custody for several hours. After he sobered up, he was released.
9. Chumlee buys a very ‘unconventional’ gift for his girlfriend
In 2013, Chumlee started dating Tanya Hyjazi, a chef at Stack Restaurant and Bar in Las Vegas. Her cooking skills helped the History Channel star drop 75 pounds in a year.
Chumlee, in return, has showered her with expensive presents.
For her birthday in 2013, he took her to the D Hotel where he rented out a penthouse suite and paid for several lavish dinners. The following year Chumlee decided to get his girlfriend a special enhancement for her birthday.
“She was going to pay for it herself, but she works so hard,” Chumlee told The National Enquirer. “It literally takes me a couple hours of work to buy [it], so why would I make her pay for them? That’s a good birthday present, right?”
8. The Shop’s Unknowing Purchase Of Stolen Coins
Buying and selling jewelry and coins has been a cornerstone of the pawn shop business for decades, but, in 2014, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop might have taken it a bit too far. In 2013, a man named David Walters claimed he had $50,000 worth of valuable coins stolen from him by his niece. She allegedly stole the collection and, on three different occasions, sold them to Gold and Silver Pawn for over $12,000.
After this was discovered, a detective with the Las Vegas police department contacted Gold and Silver to place a hold on the coins, but he was unable to recover them because Gold and Silver had already melted them down. According to Nevada law, pawn shops are required to hold hocked items for 30 to 90 days before disposing of them with only a few exceptions. Unfortunately for Walters, one of those expectations is for coins.
7. Corey’s Decision To Put His 2.4 Million Dollar House Up For Sale
Growing up in Las Vegas, Corey Harrison would often drive past a house that he swore would someday belong to him. In 2013, using the money he earned from Pawn Stars, Corey bought that house.
He lived in it for three years, but in 2016 decided to put it on the market for a whopping $2.4 million.
“I’m just one guy with a fiancé. If I had eight kids I could live here; it would make sense. I got to buy it and live in it, but sometimes childhood dreams are just childhood dreams,” Corey told The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2016. “I never thought I would downgrade into a 4,000-square-foot house. It took me about two months to find places to put everything.”
6. People love to prank call the guys and they’ve fallen for it
This may look like a normal picture from an episode of Pawn Stars, but, if you look closely, you can see a rare video game that has been the source of a prank for over half a decade.
In July of 2012, the message board 4chan decided to play a prank on the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop. The idea for the prank was to have dozens of people call the shop (which is open 24/7) and ask for a copy of the vintage video game Battletoads for the NES.
At first, the responses from the person working at Gold & Silver Pawn were pleasant, but, slowly, whoever was responsible for answering the phone got more and more frustrated. Eventually, they started to hang up on almost everyone who called in.
5. Their shop is more of a tourist trap than a pawn shop…
The world-famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is less of a pawn shop and more of a tourist attraction these days. Visitors can expect a line around the block to get in with wait times often surpassing two to three hours.
Even after waiting for several hours to get in, it’s unlikely that any visitors will get to catch a glimpse of Rick, Chumlee, Corey, or the Old Man because none of them regularly work at the shop anymore.
Because of the show’s popularity, Rick and the gang are only at the shop when they have to record new episodes. This isn’t simply out of laziness or earning enough to not have to. Instead, they don’t work every day because it slowed down business too much. People were constantly hassling them for photos or autographs.
4. Rick’s Struggling Strip Mall, Pawn Plaza
As the series grew more popular and more and more tourists started to visit Gold & Silver Pawn, Rick Harrison decided it was time to expand. He opened Pawn Plaza, an attached shopping area that featured multiple stores and eateries. By August of 2016, business started going south for Pawn Plaza. Multiple shops closed their doors or moved out with several tenants complaining about how the property was managed.
“I’ve had a few people moving out,” Harrison told Eater Vegas in 2016. “One guy was getting on the news and saying it was my fault. …There is no such thing as build it and they will come. There just isn’t.”
“We were forced out, knowing that [the rent] was more than we were making a month,” said Paul Weinstein, one of Rick’s former tenants, to KTNV in April of 2017. “They doubled our rent and pretty much forced us to leave.”
3. Corey’s 50 Lbs Weight Loss Procedure
In 2010, a doctor told Corey Harrison that he needed to be put on preventative diabetes medication because of his weight, which was over 400 lbs at the time. This was a wakeup call to Corey who immediately decided to do something about it.
“I literally drove straight from the doctor to the lap band center and had the surgery almost immediately,” Harrison told People in 2014. “Back then, the surgery was too expensive for my bank account, so I had to pay with four credit cards, but it was something I had to do.”
Corey lost 50 lbs in the first six weeks after the surgery and another 100 before the year was over.
2. They Fooled A Customer And Underpaid Them
Giving people less money than their valuables are worth is the fundamental idea behind owning and running a successful pawn shop. It may feel like you’re ripping someone off, but it’s the only way you can possibly make a profit and keep your shop open. Over the years, Rick has gained a reputation for low-balling his customers, even inspiring several memes, but in season 7, episode 8 “The Last Samurai,” he knowingly underpaid someone by thousands of dollars.
The seller, a lawyer named David, brought in a 15th-century samurai sword that a client had used a collateral.
Because he knew little about the sword’s value, David agreed to on $1,500 for the sword.
1. Johnny Jimenez went way, way too far
Longtime fans of Pawn Stars will remember Johnny Jimenez as a long time toy expert for the Gold & Silver crew, but he stopped appearing on the show after 2014. Perhaps the reason for this is that in October of 2015 Johnny Jimenez was arrested and charged with domestic violence.
Police were called to a Las Vegas restaurant around 4 AM after receiving reports of an assault. When they arrived they found Johnny’s girlfriend, but not Johnny. Police reviewed surveillance footage which showed Johnny’s girlfriend intoxicated and trying to leave the establishment. Johnny followed her outside and police said that she was unresponsive for a few minutes after falling. It’s definitely not a great look for the show…
Which of these interested you most? Let us know in the comments!
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