American Chopper cast member and Orange County Choppers founder Paul Teutul Sr. has reason to celebrate as his hit show is returning to the Discovery Channel with a new season in May along with a sneak peak airing on Thursday night.
But he also has a good reason to be worried — he's being sued for millions of dollars.
In a report from Page Six, Teutul Sr. is being sued by his business partner Thomas Derbyshire for allegedly using his investment into the "American Chopper" reboot for personal expenses.
Derbyshire filed documents with the Delaware State Chancery Court back in April, saying he made an agreement to work with Teutul to put $3 million towards the A&E show Orange County Choppers: American Made, back in 2015. But issues with the deal immediately started popping up when Teutul tried to change their 51/49 ownership deal (in Derbyshire's favor) to a 50/50 split.
The list of accusations against Teutul Sr. are lengthy, including holding up production by taking a weeklong fishing trip, refusing to film with Sons of Anarchy star Rusty despite it being part of his contract, using the funding to pay Teutul's son Micheal's salary and making side deals without consulting Derbyshire.
Some of those side deals included "a contract with a dog food manufacturer to show their product on the program in exchange for giving [his] girlfriend a container full of dog food for her dog rescue project" and "a free car lift for [Orange County Choppers] in exchange for filming the car lift on the show [and] promoting the brand, but the car lift was kept for OCC's uses."
Teutul has denied any wrongdoing.
"As we have previously stated as far back as April 10th of 2017, unfortunately, Mr. Derbyshire's interpretation of said events is without merit and with the timing of Orange County Choppers much anticipated return to television tomorrow night the timing is very suspect of once again untrue allegations," Teutul's rep Pari D'Jon told Page Six.
Teutul started Orange County Choppers in 1999 as an additional branch of his steel business, OC Iron Works.
American Chopper debuted in 2002, and ran for six seasons across 165 episodes until 2010. A spin-off show, American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, ran for another four seasons and 70 episodes before concluding in 2012.0comments
Celebrities who own custom made-motorcycles from the Teutuls include Will Smith, Bill Murray, Jay Leno, President Donald Trump, Lance Armstrong and Russell Crowe. Sports teams such as the New York Jets, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals have also had custom bikes made by the famous duo.
Photo credit: Instagram / @paulteutulsr