'Storage Wars' Latest Reality TV Show Rocked by Fraud Charges 1

David Hester suing Storage Wars alleging fraud.

David Hester was a star on the A&E hit show “Storage Wars” until he uncovered what he believed was fraud involving the show. Then he was fired; now he’s suing, and he’s got heavyweight Hollywood lawyer Marty Singer in his corner.

Singer is more often associated with establishment types and studios, but this time he fronting for the underdog. Hester is seeking $3.75 million. Okay, that could be one reason.

The defendants in the case are A&E which airs the show and Original Productions, which produces it,” according to deadline.com.

“When Plaintiff David Hester complained to producers that A&E’s fraudulent conduct of salting and staging the storage lockers was possibly illegal, he was fired from the series,” the lawsuit alleges, charging wrongful termination, breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices.

Reality television has boomed because it supposedly focuses on the real-life drama of people who are not acting. It’s much cheaper to produce than scripted television shows, but their claim to “reality” is specious at best.

Kim Kardashian, the queen of reality television, has been accused by her estranged husband Kris Humphries, of manipulating events and fabricating scenes on her shows to make them more dramatic. He’s suing her for fraud, claiming she married him solely to pump up ratings and score a big wedding special.

Likewise, Hester’s lawsuit claims “Nearly every aspect of the Series is faked…”

One female cast member even underwent plastic surgery at the production company’s expense to ramp up the sexual quotient of the show. What’s more valuable or unusual items are routinely added to storage lockers to make the show more interesting, the suit maintains.

The TLC Network another big purveyor of reality TV shows, has admitted that parts of its new reality show “Breaking Amish,” were faked, according to deadline.

Bravo’s real housewife reality shows have also been accused of manufacturing drama.

TheImproper in January called on Congress to hold hearings into reality television shows in much the same way that television game shows were investigated for fraud during the 1960s. The goal back then was to create drama, play to audience prejudices and boost ratings. Sound familiar?