A&E Responds to ‘Storage Wars' Lawsuit
Network accuses former star of spinning ‘tabloid-worthy' drama
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/29/2013 6:39:28 PM
Hester filed a lawsuit in December that alleged that Storage Wars producer Original Productions and A&E planted valuable items in the storage lockers featured on the show for dramatic effect. He also claims he was fired for reporting the alleged staging, which A&E refutes, saying it took action against Hester first.
"After AETN complained about plaintiff's improper use of AETN's trademarks, and concurrent with plaintiff's demand to renegotiate his agreement to participate in the program, plaintiff suddenly raised 'concerns' about the program's authenticity," the defendants said.
Hester claimed the network had committed fraud in violation of the Communications Act of 1934, which protects against rigging in game shows, but that statute "does not apply to cable television," A&E countered in its filing.
Storage Wars is one of A&E's most popular series; its last original episodes on Dec. 18 averaged 3.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.
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