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'Storage Wars'/A&E

'Storage Wars' lawsuit: A&E strikes back

Network asserts star David Hester concocted a 'tabloid-worthy drama'

By Tim Kenneally
TheWrap

A&E says in a legal filing that former "Storage Wars" star David Hester concocted a "tabloid-worthy drama" when he claimed the series was faked.

In response to a lawsuit he filed last month in Los Angeles Superior Court, A&E said the complaint was groundless and a "transparent attempt to distract from the issues."

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Hester alleged unfair business practices, among other claims. He said the show sometimes planted objects in the storage units that contestants bid on in hopes of finding discarded treasures.

A&E's response focused on its defense that the unfair business practices portion of Hester's complaint cannot go forward, partly because he cannot prove a probability of winning the suit. The network says he also cannot prove he suffered sustained injury.

Hester claimed in his suit that he was fired after he complained that elements of the show were staged. His lawsuit claims that, in one instance, A&E planted a stack of newspapers reporting singer Elvis Presley's death. In another instance, Hester said, a BMW minicar was found under a pile of trash.

In Thursday's motion to strike, however, A&E says that Hester was let go after the network complained that he improperly used its trademarks, and after Hester attempted to renegotiate his contract.

Now, A&E says, Hester is trying to obscure the facts by painting himself as a crusader for truth.

"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," the response reads.

A&E also claims Hester is no victim, but in fact took part in "salting" storage units with valuable items.

The network is also seeking compensation from Hester for its attorneys' fees and court costs.

In his suit, Hester claims to have suffered more than $750,000 in damages from what he claims was his wrongful firing.

Hester's attorney has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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