Have you ever watched a TV show where the plot was so complex that you couldn’t follow what was going on? You couldn’t grasp the story line enough to know what had taken place, why the situation played out as it did, or even whose side you were on in the aftermath. It was just a collection of confusion that left you furrowing your brow and running through possible explanations in your head.
Well, this isn’t the case for Storage Wars since the concept of the show is so simple that it’s odd that someone even thought to make a show out of it. Logically, someone took notice of a storage auction and thought, “Wow! That’s a moneymaker!”
Simple as it might be, the idea has caught on enough to keep the show going since its 2010 premiere—maybe because of its simplicity.
However, simple doesn’t always mean drama-free, and to the chagrin of the show’s cast and crew, drama is an inarguable ingredient in the Storage Wars recipe.
You don’t have to look far to find rumors, tension, history, and lawsuits surrounding its past and present stars that showcase drama, ones that could leave them wishing fans had never learned the secrets of the show and its cast.
Need proof? Here are the 15 Secrets The Cast Of Storage Wars Wants To Bury.
15 A Cruel Foundation
You can’t bid on a storage locker that has an owner. If you try, that’s called stealing. Now, take a moment to apply that logic to Storage Wars. Every locker that gets an honest bidding experience used to belong to someone else. You know... before it was taken away.
Granted, someone might have just decided not to pay a bill, but there are less pleasant explanations for a locker’s lack of owner. Maybe the former owner stumbled into financial issues, and from that viewpoint, any storage locker could be the former property of someone who’s a victim of a lacking income. It’s kind of like looting with a dash of "kick someone when they’re down."
If that’s not grotesque enough for you, how about this: the former owner could’ve died, meaning bidders are only able to get a locker because that person’s life ended. That’s a harsh foundation to build a show on.
14 To Auction or Not to Auction
There are aspects of this show that are reportedly fake, but what might be the most bizarre of these is the auctions themselves.
This complaint was a part of a lawsuit filed by Storage Wars star Dave Hester. According to Hester, the cast can be seen bidding on auctions that aren’t happening. You might wonder why the show would decide to fake such a thing, and the answer is vague, since Hester only said the process is to create the visual that the stars are bidding even when they aren’t bidding... what?
Maybe they’re padding airtime? Who knows, but keep in mind the next time you watch an episode that the participants might be bidding on… nothing.
However, don’t be quick to write off Hester as a disgruntled employee either, since A&E was apparently quiet concerning Hester’s accusations, and he was welcomed back on the show after this lawsuit.
One source even reports that the show’s creator has admitted to parts of the show being scripted and prepared. Combined, these details add credibility to Hester’s allegations.
13 The Rage of the Wars
Any time competition is a part of the equation, there’s a chance for tensions to rise. When the competition involves money, the odds escalate.
Not surprisingly then, the cast of Storage Wars has had their moments of heightened tempers and tense confrontations. Don’t believe it? Focus on Jarrod and Brandi— a team— and say they’re not sometimes working with bad vibes between them.
The on-site tension reached what might have been its highest level when Dave Hester got into a physical altercation with the auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson. That clash had to be broken up by security guards.
Sure, this is a show where being a jerk can be encouraged— running up the bid, for instance— but taking the tension this far could be the most embarrassing thing to ever happen during filming. Honestly, why wouldn’t the Dotsons and Hester want to bury this one?
12 Bidders or Ventriloquist Puppets?
Interviews are a part of Storage Wars episodes-- ones where cast members comment on their buys, plans, or irritations. Some of the most vivid memories you have of the show might be from these interviews where you feel like you’re learning the personalities of the cast members through their comments and quips.
Remember that whole fake thing? Reportedly, that falsification runs so deeply that a percentage of those interviews are scripted. Following that logic, every character you’ve come to appreciate because of their one-liners or general attitude during said interviews is all wrong if they’re only parroting what someone else is telling them to say.
From that perspective, you can’t really be sure that your favorite character is your favorite because you may not know that character well enough to make a decision on the matter. Essentially, they’re puppets being fed lines, which isn’t the most flattering comparison to be made.
11 Big Wins for Non-Cast Members
Can you remember watching an episode of Storage Wars where a cast member didn’t win every locker? If the answer is no, that’s not surprising. The cast are the primary contestants, so it makes sense that the footage aired would focus on their successes rather than random-bidder-eight’s.
However, you have to wonder: is that really the right strategy?
In what could be viewed as the insult of all storage locker insults, a buyer of a storage unit (where the Dotsons from Storage Wars were the auctioneers) found pirate treasure that was worth half a million dollars.
To grasp how significant this detail is, consider that the biggest find in Storage Wars history in 2012 was only three-fifths of that price. Not only could this be embarrassing for the cast, since the pirate-treasure buyer was reportedly new to storage auctions, but it’s also an indication that perhaps fans should see more than the cast members’ finds.
So, for being outdone by a relative rookie and potentially not airing great discoveries, this one makes the list.
10 Pre-Show Plastic Surgery
Non-cast members might have gotten the rotten end of the deal in regard to airtime, but cast members haven’t necessarily gone without their side dishes of a similarly rotten meal.
One of those reported moments extends before the first episode of the show ever aired, according to Hester’s lawsuit. In that lawsuit, he claimed that the show paid for an unspecified female cast member to have plastic surgery to increase viewer appeal.
There’s nothing automatically shocking about a grown woman having plastic surgery, and Hester never mentions that it was a forced choice for the cast member in order to be employed. Still, the allegation by itself leads to a series of unknowns and uncertainties that can leave viewers feeling uncomfortable.
No matter the circumstances, this claim without specifics has the possibility to cause serious criticism to the show— even if Hester was just plain lying. Taken out of context or not— authentic or not— Storage Wars might’ve fared better had Hester never made mention of the detail.
9 Education: Take It or Leave It
It’s not uncommon for a person to choose a path that doesn’t include an extended education, and there’s little reason to criticize someone for not wanting to attend school since they can earn a BA, go to the military, enroll in a trade school, start working-- the possibilities are pretty endless.
However, for one of the younger cast members, this openness for opportunity led to a decision that is uncommon. That cast member would be Brandon Sheets, who never graduated high school.
Instead, he jumped into business alongside his dad, Darrell Sheets. It’s difficult to say whether or not the gamble paid off without seeing his bank statements, but the choice is certainly something that took away an advantage from his current and upcoming life— particularly since he left the show in 2016.
8 A (Planned) Diamond in the Rough
Think about all of those awesome finds that cast members have unveiled in their lockers, ones that could’ve been worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. Didn’t some of them seem too good to be true?
In this case, logic would reportedly be correct. While there’s potential to find something of value in a storage locker— remember the pirate treasure?— not every discovery that’s been aired on the show has necessarily been legitimate. Rather, Dave Hester insisted in his lawsuit that items are placed in the lockers to ensure interesting finds.
Admittedly, you might have already suspected this, since the cast seems too good at finding useful and big-banking items, which is why Hester’s claim feels so legitimate. In any event, can you watch the show again and not wonder if cast members looking through their lockers are just big kids on a planned Easter egg hunt?
7 Pre-Show Preparation
Most shows on television have their methods of preparation, like wardrobe choices and set designs.
Storage Wars is no different in that regard, since the cameras need to be in place and, as was already noted, lines need to be scripted. There’s another step, though, that’s reportedly taken to prepare for episodes, and that’s having the objects that will be found appraised.
To be honest, this step makes absolute sense if you’re intending to script a show with solid discoveries, but give this one a little thought. If valid, what it means is that someone is taking fancy antiques and such to be appraised with the honest story of “this will be found in a few weeks. Can you tell me how much it’s worth?”
This is no more shocking than hearing that items are placed into storage lockers for scripted finds, but it does add a little insult to injury by applying a detail so ridiculous into the equation.
6 Not All Bidders Are Equal
Apparently, it isn’t enough for the show to write interview lines and place items in lockers, but the makers of Storage Wars add in unfairness.
Once more returning to Hester’s lawsuit, he claimed that the show buys lockers for certain cast members. Not everyone, mind you-- just some of them, ones who wouldn’t be able to make the purchases without assistance. That would mean some buyers have to fit the bill themselves, while others shop on money that isn’t theirs for valuable items locked away in storage lockers.
Furthermore, Hester asserted that, when he spoke of his discomfort over these kinds of pretenses, the makers of the show listened to his complaints and stopped planting items… but only in Hester’s locker. If this is true, it doomed Hester to look like a horrible buyer in comparison to the other cast members.
So, when you see a cast member win a locker, take a moment to wonder if they even have to pay for it.
5 The “Yuuup!” Fiasco
If you’re a Dave Hester fan, you might love the sound of “yuuup!” being called as he places a bid. If you’re not a fan, each of your nerve endings might curl up and have individual seizures whenever the word leaves his mouth.
Whichever category you fall into, that one word was the source of another legal controversy that Hester was involved in, this one with rapper Trey Songz. The two wanted rights to use the catchphrase on products or on air, and the courtroom seemed like a valid place to tend to the matter.
This is a situation that should be embarrassing for both the rapper and the Storage Wars participant, seeing as how “yuuup” is just a word. Granted, it’s a word that’s pronounced oddly, but it’s still one word.
It isn’t even a distinctive word that’s been created— like "Hobbit" or "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." It’s just “yep” with a different pronunciation. You can’t trademark “yep,” guys. It’s just “yes” in disguise.
4 Treading the Line
If the claims of falsified details are valid, as evidence and logic suggest, a cast member or two would reasonably think that the situation was a big lie. Sure, the fake aspects are rational if you’re only focused on making a successful show, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the scenario didn’t sit well with people involved with the episodes.
It seems, though, that where Storage Wars is concerned, you can think it, but you might not want to say it. This reportedly was the beginning of the Hester lawsuit. The two primary complaints listed in the document were wrongful termination and a breach of contract. Additionally, later in the form, he stated that other cast members agreed with his belief that the show’s strategies were wrong. When Hester pushed on the matter, he was fired.
Who knows how all of this actually played out since Hester later returned to the show, but if this statement is truthful, the message is clear: embrace the charade or hit the road.
3 Mark Balelo’s Suicide
Taking a much darker turn, Balelo’s suicide is the most tragic moment in Storage Wars history. Balelo was only on the show between 2011 and 2013, his final appearance having been produced the same year he took his own life through carbon monoxide poisoning.
The reasons why such a tragedy happened could be speculated and guessed, especially considering the fact that he’d had a history with drugs and had recently been arrested for a drug-related charge.
It’s hard to know, as an outsider, what was going through his head or in his life at the time, but ultimately, one of the most memorable personalities on this show took his own life and left behind a grieving fiancée.
Even though this is a horrific instance in Storage Wars history, try to remember that Balelo provided viewers amusement on the handful of episodes he was a part of.
2 A DUI Career Direction
Dave Hester, in addition to being involved with the mentioned lawsuits, is a strong contender on the show, and when he steps up to bid on a locker, he could mean business.
However, in what might be a shocking twist, Hester’s path to his business of buying, selling, and auctioning began with a DUI. After being charged, Hester was sentenced to work at a Goodwill where he fell in love with the practice enough to make the jump from selling furniture to selling previously used items.
Take a moment to think this over: one of the most recognizable cast members ever only started in the thrift-store enterprise because he was caught driving while under the influence.
Simply put, this is an embarrassing and irresponsible story to offer for his career’s beginning, and he’d be justified in wishing he never had to tell it.
1 Murder Charge
The primary Storage Wars isn’t the only version of the show. Among others, there’s a version for New York, Texas, and Miami. The Miami option is the one connected with the number-one secret on this list.
The story goes that cast member Kevin Pew was watching an episode of the show with his family when his son shot a woman more than once after she went for a blanket. The assault only ended, it seems, because Pew physically stopped his son before the police arrived on the scene.
While credit goes to Pew for putting an end to the violence, it’s a horribly dark spot for the series. With a loss of life by such a close relative of one of the show’s stars, it’s hard to imagine that any other documented fact brought to the surface would be as shocking. Needless to say, this is one story that Pew probably wishes would just go away.
Are there any other Storage Wars secret we missed? Let us know in the comment section!