(Photo: Reuters/Jason Redmond)
Storage Wars has dropped 3 big names from the show ahead of season 4, according to reports.
Darrell Sheets and Dan and Laura Dotson were reportedly cut from several episodes of the A&E reality TV show. The news also comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Dave Hester – who was one of the main buyers for the series over the first three seasons.
A source has told Radar Online: "They lived up to Darrell's contract, but then shot more episodes that weren't covered by his contract and kept him out of those. He was not happy to say the least."
The source added, "It seems as if they are going after some of the higher paid cast members. And meanwhile they are expanding the franchise."
The Dotsons are looking to fight to remain on the series, with a second source explaining: "They make good money and they need the money. Suddenly the show just told them, 'We don't need you for this episode.' And then it happened again. So they've been battling to stay on the air, and they are worried about their futures. The show is a gold mine."
In December 2012, Hester filed a lawsuit against A&E and Original Productions after he was fired from the show. He claimed that the producers staged the entire program, and had funneled cash to weaker teams so that they could buy lockers they wouldn't be able to afford on their own.
Hester also claimed that producers would plant items in lockers that had been appraised weeks in advance. He is seeking a ruling for wrongful termination.
A&E has said that the composition of the series is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In March the show's organizers won a partial victory when a judge dismissed Hester's claims of unfair business practices by the network.
At that time the judge called the series "expressive free speech."
Here is a previous video news report into the alleged claims that producers of Storage Wars were faking episodes: