In the mid-2000s, the Discovery Channel showcased a plethora of shows that focused on people building things. From Monster House, which featured elaborate upgrades to regular homes, to Monster Garage, which featured upgrading automobiles to incredible ways, the network appealed to audiences who enjoyed watching the technical skills involved in upgrading everyday items into the realm of the fantastic. Another of these successful programs was American Chopper, which focused on the Teutul family and the intricate upgrades they gave to regular motorcycles. One of the show's star's, Paul Teutul Sr., is now facing some legal trouble after a failed pursuit of starting a new reality show.
According to Thomas Derbyshire, he and Teutul formed a company to begin production on a new TV show, Orange County Choppers: American Made, to be aired on A&E. Derbyshire agreed to fully fund the project, up to the price of $3 million, and he would own 51% of the company, compared to Teutul's 49%.
Documents that Derbyshire submitted to courts say that he initially cut a check for nearly $2 million to begin production on the project with the stipulated ownership, but Teutul tried to modify the negotiations to a 50/50 split of ownership.
With Derbyshire refusing these new terms, the company fell apart, along with the reality series.
The dispute over ownership was only a continuation of numerous problems surrounding the deal, with Derbyshire claiming Teutul had also formed a partnership with a dog food company, paid his son with money from the budget (unbeknownst to Derbyshire), and constantly demanded reshoots of his own scenes.
In hopes of making back some of the money he spent on the failed production, Derbyshire is seeking the money he lost from Teutul, as he was the source of the company's dissolution.
When speaking with TMZ, Teutel said, "Unfortunately, Mr. Derbyshire's interpretation of said events is without merit."0comments
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