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November 30, 2015

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Fired ‘Pawn Stars’ manager files lawsuit against reality TV stars


Joe Elbert

Pawn Stars” stars Rick Harrison, his father Richardson Harrison, his son Corey Harrison and Corey’s best friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell (wearing the backwards cap).

Pawn Stars

After 28 years in the business, Rick Harrison is an expert when it comes to spotting anything fake or stolen. As far as big-ticket items, Rick is the man for the job. Spotting a fake Cartier watch that most people would mistakenly purchase for $30,000 is just one of his many skills. Often acting as the middleman between his father and his son, Rick is the glue that holds this family and business together. Launch slideshow »

Gold & Silver Pawn: Pawn Stars

Visitors line up outside Gold & Silver Pawn in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. The pawnshop is the home of the reality-TV hit Launch slideshow »

A Las Vegas entertainment consultant and promoter who helped put together the History Channel’s popular “Pawn Stars” show claims in a lawsuit he was fired over comments he issued about the spin-off “Cajun Pawn Stars.”

Wayne F. Jeffries, who operates the Jefferies Co. promotional services business, has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court seeking damages from the reality show’s stars Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison, Richard Benjamin “The Old Man” Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell.

Also named as defendants are the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop on Las Vegas Boulevard, the History Channel, A&E Networks and History Channel executives Mary Donahue and Nancy Dubuc.

Jefferies said that in December 2011, the Harrisons and Russell found out through a press release that the History Channel was spinning off a series called “Cajun Pawn Stars.”

Jefferies said that, at the request of Rick Harrison, he told the celebrity news website that “the cast of Pawn Stars was blind sided” by the spin-off.

After that, Dubuc and Donahue “were furious over the released story and blamed” Jefferies rather than Rick Harrison, the lawsuit says.

Jefferies is seeking general damages in excess of $10,000, punitive and exemplary damages in excess of $10,000, accounting fees, penalties and interest in excess of $10,000, and attorneys fees and interest.

He is being represented by Richard A. Schonfeld, of Chesnoff & Schonfeld.

The lawsuit explains Jefferies’ role in helping land the show and managing the store operators’ entertainment deals.

It says Rick Harrison, co-owner of the pawn shop, was unsuccessful in his efforts during 2007 to pitch a TV series based on the pawn business in Las Vegas.

Jefferies says he then entered into an oral contract with Harrison and the other store operators to serve as their manager. The lawsuit says Jefferies was instrumental in helping them land them their cable TV network show in 2008.

The show is in its sixth season and receives the highest ratings in the reality TV division, the lawsuit says. Jefferies said the success of the show revitalized the History Channel and put executives Donahue and Dubuc “into a class of saviors.”

The lawsuit says that around May 2009, Jefferies entered into an oral agreement with the Harrisons to provide management services for the following:

• A $4,000 per monthly fee;

• 5 percent of eBay merchandise sales;

• 5 percent of Rick Harrison’s License to Pawn book;

• 10 percent of Pawn Stars’ slot machine deal;

• 5 percent of Pawn Stars’ coin deal;

• 5 percent of Pawn Stars’ credit card deal;

• 5 percent of Pawn Stars’ merchandise deals;

• 5 percent of the pawn store’s in-store merchandise sales;

• 10 to 15 percent of all paid personal appearances;

• 10 percent of proceeds related to the production and management of the Pawn Stars’ road show;

• 5 percent of an energy drink deal.

Jefferies said he also had an oral agreement with Russell for 10 percent of his gross revenue and 10 percent of merchandise deals.

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