As we pointed out a month and a half ago, former Costa Mesa thrift store king and early Storage Wars cast member Dave "YUUUP!" Hester is suing the A&E cable network and the reality show's production company for $750,000, alleging he was fired after complaining the reality show is fake. A&E has now fired back, calling Hester's suit "meritless" and the result of his losing salary negotiations.
A&E's response, filed Jan. 24 in Los Angeles Superior Court (hat tip to Deadline Hollywood), states that Original Productions, LLC and the network "opposed Hester's demands for more favorable contract terms, and he was notified that his participation was no longer needed in the Program. Hester then filed this lawsuit against AETN and Original. In a transparent attempt to distract from the issues–and maximize any potential recovery–Plaintiffs' 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. But setting aside the notable inconsistencies in his exaggerated self-portrait, the law does not permit such sophistry."
The response also takes issue with the Hester legal team misapplying laws and its client seeking damages not owed because, A&E counters, he didn't lose anything, he just didn't have his contract renewed. But the network, who is represented by former OC Weekly lawyer Kelli Sager and her colleagues at Davis Wright Tremaine's LA office, says it wants something from Hester: legal fees. A Feb. 22 hearing has been set.