Connect with us

Lists

Why Matt Brown Was Fired From “Alaskan Bush People”

Published

on

Matthew William ‘Matt’ Brown made a promising on-camera appearance along with his family for the first time on 6 May 2014, in the premiere of the now world-famous docudrama reality TV series by Discovery Channel entitled “Alaskan Bush People.”

It follows the many trials and tribulations of the unconventional Brown family as they wade through the barely passable Alaskan snow cover, surviving off the relatively barren land in by far the most inhospitable US state. This simple premise made the series very easy to follow and connect with over a short span of time, for a large audience eager to experience on the screen what for most is physically impossible.

Naturally, viewers began picking their favorites, and Matt Brown, being the eldest son of the aging patriarch Billy, was next in line for leadership of the family. He was thus an easy choice for most adolescent men, especially those following in their fathers’ footsteps. His unquestioned popularity among the masses would eventually prove to be as much a curse as it was a blessing, causing his subsequent transgressions to stick to his name in perpetuity.

The consistent increase of Matt’s notoriety eventually led to his contract with the Discovery Channel being cancelled, to the dismay of very few after all was said and done. What most are familiar with when it comes to the Brown son’s wrongdoings is the one singular event that completely overturned his career, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye.

In fact, various underlying issues slowly accumulated without almost anyone noticing, culminating in what is today known as perhaps the biggest media scandal in relation to the Alaskan family. It was actually an overlooked issue that gradually tore down Matt’s public image much faster than it was built, which in retrospect could’ve been dealt with more responsibly.

Advertisement

Addiction – Matt’s judge and executioner

While not exactly televised in the long-awaited trailer prior to the release of “Alaskan Bush People,” nor was it a secret that Matt had had certain run-ins with the law, especially over irresponsible behavior following drunken benders.

An arrest over being drunk behind the wheel doesn’t necessarily warrant a year in a rehab facility, but it’s also a lot more serious than anything a casual drinker would end up being involved in. A decade down the line, many are wondering why the Brown parents didn’t react sooner to the obvious warning signs.

Matt got himself into jail almost an entire year before the series even landed on the TV screen, in an incident that can only be described as extremely irresponsible disregard for the most basic of precautions. Some have argued that this sort of behavior was enabled by his parents not adequately disciplining their children, being rather too lenient in most cases.

A date with fate

According to RadarOnline, which obtained exclusive details of the event, not only do the Browns not exclusively live in the wilderness, but they’re no strangers to long nights out at modern-day nightclubs either. Matt was caught by police after fleeing the scene of an accident he caused, where he rammed a motorcycle with the 1986 Volvo he was supposedly in control of, in the parking lot of a local Wal-Mart.

It later turned out that the vehicle wasn’t his either, as he had actually borrowed it from the girl he went home with after the club. He was lucky that nobody was on the motorcycle at the time – it was standing in the parking lot while its owner went about his business in the store.

That aside, he’s legally obliged to stay on the scene of the impact and report it to the authorities, as well as try to reach some sort of deal with the owner, instead of possibly facing a full-on lawsuit later on. Matt didn’t fancy the idea of going through the consequences of what he caused, speeding off with the unnamed female’s car as though nothing had happened.

The impact took place in Juneau, Alaska, at 4:45AM on 30 August 2013 – Brown was pulled over by police not long after. He vehemently denied having an accident, making it obvious to the authorities throughout the rambling conversation that he was in a very drunken state.

Officer Terry Allen detailed in the subsequent report that Matt appeared nervous and spoke rather quickly, emanating a very strong smell, akin to that of a homeless individual. He also firmly refused to admit to any drinking or use of narcotics, stating that his odd behavior at the time was the symptom of his attention deficit disorder.

He did admit to not being the vehicle’s owner, explaining how the girl he had just spent a night with just gave him the keys so he could stock up on some desperately needed chips from Wal-Mart. However, he was unable to provide any significant information about the female, such as her name, location, or phone number.

After another police officer arrived, Matt changed his story and said that the girl’s name might be Julie, as well as that they had ‘two or three’ shots of vodka at a local Viking Bar. Still, he remained adamant that the hit motorcycle had nothing to do with him, in spite of the officers not buying a single word he was uttering.

Advertisement

Brown was then administered a few standard sobriety tests, such as moving the gaze horizontally, walking and turning, and standing on one leg. After he completely failed every single one, the police put cuffs on him and took him to the station, where he was breathalyzed.

It was then discovered that his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15%, whereas the maximum legal limit for driving in the state of Alaska is 0.08%. Police officers are well aware that individuals with Matt’s BAC at the time are prone to blacking out and vomiting, making the act of driving a potential killing machine an extremely dangerous act.

Matt exhibited similar behavior soon after blowing into the breathalyzer, tripping over himself to try and vomit into the nearby trash basket. He was placed behind bars and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), as well as leaving the scene of an accident. With all of this in mind, it was expected that Billy and Ami Brown would put their foot down upon learning what had transpired, with Matt facing serious repercussions.

Nothing of the sort took place, however, as Billy simply posted bail of $250 and drove his son home. The only real punishment came from the state in February 2014, which had Matt serve three days in jail and spend the following 18 months on probation.

A few years too late

Matt did actually go to rehab, but only three years after the said incident. Some outlets falsely reported that the motorcycle collision caused his family to take action, but this is a false claim based on a misunderstanding of the dates. The RadarOnline article was indeed published in 2015, but it spoke of a police report they only then managed to obtain, which dates back to 20 August 2013.

Taking the article as fresh, breaking news, various media websites subsequently took the year 2015 as the time of the incident, assuming Matt’s departure to a rehabilitation center the following year as a logical course of action. Instead, what actually pushed the Browns to get Matt professional help was a ceaseless drinking bender allegedly brought on by bad company.

He told People magazine that he began spending time with people who drank, and who unlike his family, had no issues with seeing him consume copious amounts of alcohol. He felt unjudged for something that definitely should’ve been put under control, eventually becoming comfortable in a serious alcohol addiction that had been building up over the years.

Matt identified the start of his descent as the time when the family’s boat broke down, causing them to leave the wilderness more and socialize with Juneau locals. Frequenting the pubs there became one of Matt’s favorite activities, and with that came hours upon hours of the main activity at any such establishment.

Advertisement

This definitely made him stand out from among his own, as no other Brown drinks even tiny amounts of alcohol, either on and off camera. Still, the family had faith that the future patriarch would be able to control his urges, and so Matt was allowed to continue living the way he saw fit.

What’s really interesting is that he told People in the same interview that his family had no idea about his drinking habit, until the day he decided to tell them before attending rehabilitation – both the interview and his departure happened in 2016.

How, then, could Billy Brown have bailed Matt out of jail for $250 in 2013, after being informed of everything his son did the previous night, and still have no clue that Matt had actually tasted alcohol before?

From the way he tells the story in the interview, it’s apparent that he’s trying to minimize the Browns’ responsibility for not acting sooer. There are many reasons why he’d want to do this, the most obvious being that the family didn’t need more negative public opinion at the time, what with his father Billy and brother Joshua facing jail time months prior to the interview.

Matt finally attended the Betty Ford Center for persons with substance dependence in Rancho Mirage, California, for a whole 35 days. Some fans even laughed at the idea that a mere month could undo years of growing addiction, but that was apparently enough to persuade the masses that the eldest Brown son was a brand-new man.

Leaving show business

Having returned to the series right after the short rehab stint in California, Matt initially didn’t struggle with unruly behavior. That grace period wouldn’t last long, however, and he began to fall back into his ways as time dragged on. It was eventually determined by the family that Matt needed more help, and was still unfit for being on the screen with everyone else.

This resulted in Matt’s on-and-off relationship with healthy living, being sent back into rehab in September 2018. Meanwhile, he would always be followed by a few members of the family’s staff, in an effort to help keep his stress level down to a minimum and his behavior in order.

Matt was attended pretty much wherever he went by his manager Shelly Dawn Early, and personal assistant Jessica Jurges. The treatment saw some success over the following months, but apparently not enough for Matt to return to the show.

It was evident that Matt wasn’t done with his journey of recuperation, or that, perhaps, he had another reason for choosing to stay out of the limelight. To the disappointment of numerous fans at the time, he ended up staying in an apartment in California and sticking to a private life. Even his profession at the time remains a mystery, though it’s generally believed that he simply lived off the family’s wealth.

Advertisement

The bomb that blew Matt Brown to smithereens

Everything was fine and good throughout the two years following his departure from the series – Matt was apparently feeling better, living alone, and keeping to himself, while the rest of the family continued their public life. As far as anyone was concerned, Matt simply slipped out of the media’s attention and went about his life as another ordinary civilian.

However, that turned out to be far from the truth, when in September 2020 the aforementioned personal assistant and manager came out with details that no one could’ve imagined. They stated that Matt had raped both of them back in late 2018, while still attending rehabilitation, only days after a long drinking binge.

Jurges described the shocking events that took place in the private swimming pool where she’d been drinking with Matt, saying he kept pressuring her to get into the water with him, in spite of her adamance not to step in as she was a very poor swimmer.

What ensued were two and a half hours of pure torture, as Matt ripped her bathing suit off and proceeded to force himself upon Jessica, who was panicking even more due to being in deep water, nearly drowning in the process.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CSsB9V7MSIP/

He was eventually pulled off of her by Shelly, who he subsequently also raped. Matt was aware that she had recently had a hip replacement, rendering her legs nowhere near as strong as before. He apparently used that to his advantage and overpowered her, making her endure the violation until he was too tired to continue.

As they both specified, Matt was too drunk to understand what he was doing at the time, but this fact in no way minimizes what he had committed. Jessica and Shelly reported the crimes to the Tonga Division of the LAPD, but the district attorney refused to prosecute, most likely due to their allegations being extremely difficult to prove a whole two years after the fact.

Guilty of the accusations or not, Matt now understandably carries a lot of negative attention with him, and the family simply can’t afford to have him anywhere around them if they hope to continue running the series, which has released 14 seasons by mid-2023.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lists

How Amy Slaton is Coping with Her Divorce and Raising Two Sons?

Published

on

The first season of “1000-Lb Sisters” gave viewers a beautiful life story between high school friends who went their separate ways after graduation, met a few years later, declared their love for each other, eloped, and then invited their loved ones two years later to witness as they vowed to spend the rest of their lives together. Sadly, their union was doomed to fail. Amy Slaton and Michael Halterman are currently embroiled in a court battle to end their marriage, and determine how the once fan favorites will share the custody of their two children. Typically, divorce proceedings and custody battles are difficult for the parties involved – here is how Amy is coping with her divorce and raising the children.

Amy and Michael

When “1000-Lb Sisters” premiered on TLC in 2020, Michael was the picture of devotion. At the time, Tammy lived with the couple – she’d just undergone a significant transformation after her surgery, and can walk by herself, but things were different in the beginning. Her weight made walking and other physical activities difficult for her. Therefore, she was confined to a wheelchair and needed help with mobility. Michael graciously allowed Tammy to live with them so Amy could help take care of her. At times, he took on the responsibility of caring for his sister-in-law, who wasn’t easy to deal with according to fans, when Amy was not around or needed a break. Michael waved his green flag further by sacrificing his free time with Amy, driving her to errands and her sister to her appointments, and cheering Amy on as she dieted, exercised, and struggled her way through weight loss until she reached a safe weight to carry their first child.

Advertisement

The Last Straw

Michael’s stint as the show’s resident saint and model husband lasted until the second season, when their first child, Gage, was born. According to Amy, he left all household and childcare responsibilities to her, and didn’t contribute financially towards household expenses, since he was unemployed. Things got worse, but it was only after the birth of their second child, Glenn, that fans confirmed her accusations. Michael tested positive for Covid-19 while Amy was in hospital for Glenn’s birth. After leaving hospital, she went to live with her sister, Amanda, until Michael recovered and tested negative.

Amy returned home with a newborn and a toddler to a dirty house that hadn’t been cleaned since she left for the hospital. Meanwhile, Michael admitted that his symptoms were an occasional but mild headache. A frustrated and exasperated Amy, who had barely recovered from a rough birthing experience, had to clean the house while taking care of two children and healing from a c-section, much to the chagrin of fans, who called out Michael’s behavior, and agreed with Amy, who confessed that she felt as if she had three children.

Several other moments in the season showed Michael disinterested and oblivious to Amy struggling to take care of the children and the household. One particular incident riled-up viewers and had them supporting Amy’s decision to leave Michael later on in the show. Amy and Michael were hosting her family in their backyard. As they sat eating, both children started fussing; Gage was crying and Glenn was hungry and screaming his lungs out for a bottle. The whole time, Michael continued to enjoy his food, oblivious to his crying children as his sleep-deprived wife tried to calm them down. Amy complained that Michael was having fun with everyone else instead of helping her calm downone of the children. It took the intervention of Amanda to calm down the boys by helping Amy with Gage, while she fed Glenn and changed his diaper. The incident drove Amy closer to her threshold.

Advertisement

For Amy, the straw that broke the camel’s back came in February, when Michael got angry and became violent. On the fateful day, Amy had prepared the children and gotten herself ready to go out and have lunch with Tammy. However, Michael was opposed to the idea, leading to the argument that ended the marriage. In the middle of the heated argument, Michael started throwing things around, prompting Amy to call 911. As their marriage disintegrated, Amy accused Michael of hitting the boys and pulling their hands, neglecting his financial obligations to the family, and making her take on all the chores. She later filed charges against Michael for domestic violence, and requested the court to grant an emergency protection order.

Divorce and Custody Update

With their marriage broken irretrievably, Michael filed for the dissolution of his marriage to Amy in March. Around the same time, Amy filed an order for protection, seeking to bar Michael from having any contact with Gage and Glenn. However, Michael fought the order, claiming that he’d shared the caregiver role for the two children with Amy since their birth, and had the right to see them; he also hoped that the court would allow him to share custody with Amy. She relented soon afterwards, and amended the order to allow Michael to see the children, but petitioned the court to make his contact with them supervised. The judge ruled that Michael could see the children on the condition that he was accompanied by his mother and sister.

In April, one month after filing his divorce petition, Michael returned to court seeking a civil restraining order against Amy. He wanted the order to prevent him and Amy from being within 500 feet of each other or each other’s residence, and prevent either party from talking about the specifics of the divorce and child custody petitions in public or on social media. He also sought a parenting schedule that would divide the children’s time between him and Amy, and petitioned the judge to issue an order allowing him into his and Amy’s house to pick up his personal items.

The divorce and child custody cases are ongoing, with the (former) couple set to attend the next hearing on 1 June 2023. For now, Amy has withdrawn the charges she filed against Michael for domestic violence. The court has temporarily also granted Michael’s request for shared custody. The couple is allowed to communicate through text messages that are monitored by the court, to arrange pick-ups, drop-offs, and other issues related to Gage and Glenn. However, Amy is opposing Michael’s request for permanent joint custody, arguing that the children need consistency, and alleging that Michael is relying on his mother to take care of them, instead of parenting them himself.

Advertisement

Life After Divorce

Amy and Michael’s divorce isn’t final yet, but she’s coping well and ready to move on. According to recent posts on social media, she is powering through the end of her marriage with a positive attitude and a transformation of her life. A major hairstyle change is a typical indicator of rebirth in a woman’s life, and Amy is no exception. She recently colored her hair a vibrant purple, that makes her stand out and draws all eyes to her. The bold hair color goes well with the confidence and positivity she is emanating, as evident in her new pictures. She’s taken to posting bright pictures of herself all over her social media, and captioning them with positive and uplifting messages of hope, the courage to start over, and turning pain into power. She isn’t afraid to use bold and provocative soundtracks such as Lexy Panterra’s “Bad Bitch” to accompany pictures and videos of herself.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cqu4LAZtXb_/

Amy’s dedication to her children hasn’t wavered. She spends most of her time taking care of the boys, who adore her as seen in the snippets she shares of her time with them on her social media. She’s driven by her own childhood, during which she encountered abuse and neglect from her mother, and her vow to ensure that her boys are assured of her love for them. Besides loving them, she’s teaching them independence and responsibility, as evidenced in a video she shared recently of Gage helping her clean the house with a toy vacuum cleaner. While she devotes most of her time and energy to the boys, Amy is taking time for self-care and self-love. Occasionally, she shares pictures and highlights of nights out with her friends, with whom she has fun and lets loose, before going home to her boys.

Ultimately, Amy is happy to be raising her two boys as she and Michael face off in court to finalize their divorce, and determine how they will parent their children. She’s updated her bio to declare herself a single mother, and seems to be enjoying her life without Michael. With her family and friends rallying around as her support system, there’s little doubt that she’ll continue to thrive.

Continue Reading

Lists

What happened to Sugar Bear? What’s he doing now?

Published

on

Whether you loved or you hated them, there’s no doubt that the stars of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child” became some of the most unforgettable faces of reality TV in the past decade. Starting with the family’s simple way of living, their personalities, or how all of that contrasted with Honey Boo Boo’s goals as a pageant contestant, there was simply no way to ignore the charming and sometimes-controversial endeavors of the Shannon and Thompson families.

It’s been a long while since “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” left TV screens for good, but its stars keep making headlines for a variety of reasons, except for Sugar Bear, the family’s patriarch who has surprisingly been living a toned-down life for some time now.

So where is Sugar Bear now, and where has life taken him after the show’s cancellation? Stay here to discover all!

Where Is Sugar Bear Now?

It’s been a while since we last saw Sugar Bear on TV, but he hasn’t completely fallen out of the spotlight. A couple of years after the cancellation of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” in 2014, the spin-off “Mama June: Road to Redemption” successfully premiered on TLC, featuring almost the entire Thompson and Shannon families in it, with Sugar Bear included.

However, Sugar Bear, whose real name is Mike Thompson, has been absent from the newly premiered sixth season of “Road To Redemption” in 2023, and his presence in the past fifth season was scarce as well. This comes after Sugar Bear’s relationship with his daughter Alana – ‘Honey Boo Boo’ – became distant in recent times, along with his divorce from his second wife Jennifer, and other romantic splits he’s gone through since then.

Advertisement

Other than that, Sugar Bear’s health has been improving since undergoing a couple of cosmetic procedures, including dental surgery in 2022. Although his social media hasn’t been active since mid-2022 and no news about his possible future projects on TV has been revealed, everything points to him moving forward with his life, regardless of the hardships he’s encountered along the way.

Abuse Accusations

Even though Sugar Bear gave the impression of being a dedicated family man, in recent times that has been denied by his children. According to an interview that Alana and her older sister Lauryn ‘Pumpkin’ gave to the Dumb Blonde podcast in 2022, Sugar Bear abused his daughter and step-daughters physically and emotionally.

In the case of Pumpkin, she recalled the time when her step-father threw a set of keys toward her at 14 years old, injuring her eye in the process: ‘I had to get a buckle put on the back of my eye and stuff like that. It just started to get progressively worse,’ she said. This incident was featured in “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, but described as an accident back in the day.

Regarding how the family hid the abuse from the show’s staff, Pumpkin affirmed that some of the abuse occurred while filming. One of the incidents she recalled during the interview was when Sugar Bear threw a lotion bottle toward one of the staff members and almost hurt her seriously. He also allegedly behaved ‘very mean’ towards everyone in the family, including his blood-daughter Alana, to whom he was sometimes unkind due to the fact he wanted to have a boy and not a girl.

All in all, it seems that more and more drama keeps being unearthed from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.

Does He Keep In Contact With His Children?

Due to the complicated relationship between Sugar Bear and his children, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they’re mostly not in contact with each other these days.

Signs of the growing distance between him and his family were already evident in the earliest seasons of “Mama June: Road to Redemption”, back when jealousy-related issues with his then-new wife Jennifer affected his relationship with Alana. Later on, Mama June’s drug issues left a teen Alana in the charge of her older sister Pumpkin, instead of Sugar Bear.

Advertisement

As seen in the fifth season of the show, Sugar Bear ultimately gave full custody of Alana to Pumpkin and her husband Joshua, but affirming his daughter was ‘the only thing he had’ and felt that giving away her custody was ‘basically signing her out’ of his life.

Alana doesn’t seem to hold her father in high regard; as she told Entertainment Tonight in 2022, she felt that Sugar Bear’s emotional outbursts weren’t genuine, saying ‘He just wants folks to feel bad for him’, and also admitted that she doesn’t reply to his constant efforts to get closer to her, feeling that he had waited too long to strengthen their relationship.

Besides his estranged relationship with Alana, it doesn’t seem that Sugar Bear is on better terms with the rest of his adopted daughters either.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CX7KQSgleQu/

Health Scare

Though Sugar Bear is fortunately healthy these days, it hasn’t been long since he went through a serious health scare. In mid-2022, he went on a makeover mission, changing things about his body with which he hadn’t felt comfortable, as a way to celebrate his 50th birthday.

However, just when he went to improve the condition of his teeth, his dentist found white spots all over his lower gums, signaling the possibility of buccal cancer. According to TMZ, Sugar Bear feared that his decades-long taste for tobacco could have resulted in serious health problems, thus making the situation even scarier.

Nonetheless, in the end not only did a specialist determined that Sugar Bear fortunately didn’t have cancer, but he was also able to get new teeth to replace his rotten ones. He reportedly also underwent liposuction and got fillers, botox, and a hair transplant.

While the results of his makeover were visible in some of the photos he shared on social media, the most important part was to know that he was healthy.

Advertisement

What Happened To His Relationships?

While many people remember Sugar Bear from his time in “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, when he was still together with Mama June, by the time the show premiered in 2012, the couple had been together for several years, with him as a step-father to Mama June’s three daughters from previous relationships and as a father to Alana, who they welcomed in 2005.

However, it didn’t take long from there until things between Mama June and Sugar Bear came to an end, effectively parting ways in 2014. Though she moved to other relationships, Sugar Bear remained single for a while before meeting a woman named Jennifer, with whom he tied the knot in 2017.

While Jennifer is well known for her appearances in the earliest seasons of “June Mama: Road To Redemption”, she and Sugar Bear didn’t have an easy path. As seen in the show, the couple faced several crises, most of them related to his alleged unfaithfulness. The couple eventually went their separate ways in late 2021, but didn’t reveal the reasons behind their split, as reported by TV Shows Ace.

In May 2022, Sugar Bear officially started dating Heather Rood, a nurse from Maine. Though it’s unclear where or when exactly they met, the couple seemed to be over the moon for the longest time, before Heather broke news about their split in May 2023, affirming it was her who chose to walk away, but left details about the cause of their split unclear.

What Will Happen To The Show?

Though “Mama June: Road To Redemption” has been longer on TV than its predecessor “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”, the show has also seen the family distance themselves from each other, especially when it comes to Mama June’s drug issues and Sugar Bear’s estrangement from his daughters.

Advertisement

So far, Sugar Bear hasn’t been seen in the still-airing sixth season of the show, and no positive news about his possible return to TV has been revealed. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean that Sugar Bear will be gone from the show forever, his absence gives a hint of the status of his relationship with his daughter.

While it’s positive that Sugar Bear has been improving certain aspects of his life in recent times, whether those changes also include reconnecting with his daughter Alana has been an unsolved issue for a long time.

Continue Reading

Lists

What happened to Orange County Choppers after “American Chopper”?

Published

on

Orange County Choppers (OCC) is probably the world’s most famous custom motorcycle manufacturing company, revered by bikers around the globe as the birthplace of builds that completely changed the game. However, under the surface of creative ingenuity and brimming passion lay a greatly strained relationship between father and son.

It’s precisely this rift between the two that made the series all the more remarkable, adding a massive elements of reality TV to an already very absorbing documentary show. Paul John Teutul Sr. (often called Senior) and Paul Michael Teutul Jr.’s (often called Junior) co-operation produced one-of-a-kind machines that stunned the world, and their lack thereof left audiences scratching their heads as to why they even worked together.

From its inception in 2003 to the time it first stopped airing in 2012, “American Chopper: The Series” continually made headlines across numerous media outlets, and consequently a lot of money for its parent network, the Discovery Channel. With the addition of just a few cameras on their premises, Orange County Choppers from Newburgh, New York, went from a private business to a global sensation.

The time bomb that the company was built on eventually had to implode, splitting up the fabled father-son duo and starting another, perhaps even greater story. Far from being an end to the saga that captured the world’s attention, the temporary finish of “American Chopper: The Series” paved the way for both of the Teutuls to rise to even greater popularity.

Chasing their own legend

The start of the crumbling of “American Chopper: The Series” was the culmination of Senior and Junior’s fights, which over time seemed more and more to have stemmed from actual hatred and unwillingness to listen. Their last and biggest altercation even involved physical violence, with Junior smashing a chair on the floor and kicking the door into the wall on his way out of Senior’s office.

Advertisement

It all started when Junior was more than 45 minutes late to work yet again, which made Senior furious. He told the camera crew that he was completely done with letting this behavior continue, building himself up to even greater anger as the son slowly made his way to his office.

Junior wasn’t really having any of that, so he replied in kind with the same shouting volume, ultimately bursting out with rage and trashing parts of his father’s office. He stormed outside without a word, as the father yelled at his back that his contract was terminated. Junior expressed relief at this statement, and left the premises, never to return.

A truly independent OCC

Although Senior generally ruled his business with an iron fist, it wasn’t until Junior’s departure that his father achieved complete freedom in his builds, since the other Paul had a very different idea of what their bikes should look like.

This variety in taste seemed a promising factor at first, as the audience expected them to combine the styles and build truly remarkable machines. However, it only served to further the already significant family rift, birthing issues for both of the design masterminds as they clashed over the tiniest of details.

Senior finally built bikes with complete creative liberty, which greatly pleased the fans who preferred him from the outset. Conversely, those who mostly rooted for Junior found it hard to support the show without him, which led to mixed overall feelings regarding the continuation of “American Chopper.”

With that, the potential customers of OCC were also split between the company and Junior’s brand-new business, Paul Jr. Designs (PJD). Whereas before everyone who wanted a legendary bike would give Senior a call, it was now a question of taste in a true old-vs-new fashion, with Junior preferring to push the limits of what is considered a motorbike, while his father stuck to more conventional methods, and still greatly attractive old-school aesthetics.

Consequently, it became apparent that the two businesses were semi-direct competitors, which is a discomfort that OCC had never had to deal with prior to Junior leaving it. In spite of the father and son not working in the same space anymore, their rivalry became even stronger, pushing both of their creative drives to even greater lengths.

Advertisement

It’s thus undeniable that OCC entered a new age post-2008, with its builds becoming perhaps more iconic than at any other time, as the work was further streamlined thanks to very few arguments among the staff, as well was Senior trying his hardest to outdo the younger talent.

Worthy of mention is the fact that Junior wasn’t the only one who left, as several other important and highly skilled workers went to join PJD in the years following its creation, including the unforgettable MVP of custom bike building Vincent DiMartino (Vinnie), as well as Cody Connelly and Michael Teutul. This outflow of talent most definitely took a toll on OCC, which was forced to resort to brand-new employees.

Blood against blood

In 2010, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” gave hope to the fans that the series will continue for many years to come, but they were let down when it was brought to an end only two years later. Still, throughout those 56 episodes, it was evident that both father and son had reached a new understanding of chopper building, outdoing the supposedly impossibly high standards that they had set while working together.

Many prominent choppers were featured throughout the spin-off, such as the St. Jude Bike, built by Senior at OCC to honor and support the efforts of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from Memphis, Tennessee, which is a non-profit medical corporation centered on extremely debilitating children’s diseases, such as leukemia and various other cancers.

The Geico Bike was proudly revealed as one of PJD’s first designs, created for the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation, which has empowered numerous charities throughout the US, and helped them support diverse communities.

“American Chopper: The Series” was canceled alongside its spin-off in 2012, leading many to believe that this was indeed the end of OCC’s dominance on the TV screen. However, their next appearance was just around the corner.

OCC, and OCC alone

“Orange County Choppers” premiered on CMT, on August 18 2013, with a pilot that lasted two hours. It featured even more advanced builds than was previously thought possible by the fans of the franchise, with a new creative director to help steer the team to ever greater creations.

Evan Favaro was said by many viewers to be the second-best addition to the crew, aside from Junior himself, who was definitely not returning at that point. Regardless of his son’s absence, Senior was more determined than ever before to push the limits of chopper design and revolutionize his craft yet again.

While the builds were undoubtedly impressive, the series’ second season never really took off, and so it finished with the airing of its eighth episode on 11 January 2014. Thinking that this was actually the end, the fans were greatly surprised by the 2014 “American Chopper” special episode, entitled “American Chopper: Shaq Bike”, created to showcase the process of OCC building a chopper for the legendary NBA player Shaquille O’Neal.

Advertisement

Although not very significant on its own, the special was the first time after Paul Jr.’s split that OCC almost entirely took over “American Chopper” and its spin-offs, which most likely would have happened, if only the series had continued. 2014 was beginning to spell the true end of the saga, but then 2018 rolled around.

The long-awaited return of “American Chopper: The Series” took place on 1 Mar 2018, featuring the 11th season. Unlike earlier, Senior and Junior were working together again, although not to the point of anyone believing the father would absorb the son’s business. The episode entitled “Welcome Back” opened up the ten-year anniversary, not showing much collaboration between the Teutuls early on.

However, it was later revealed that their relationship became much healthier over the years, probably due to each having their own unrestricted creative liberty. It was also not out of the question for certain work to be relegated to the other party throughout tight deadlines, making OCC and PJD partners as much as competitors.

The focus was still very much on the shops’ individual projects however, as fully mutual ones were definitely a thing of the past. The only exception is their collaboration on fixing the old New York Yankees chopper, which Junior requested from OCC after the machine had been severely defaced and sold into scrap.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B03NXjchpXv/

Things seemed to be looking up for both the franchise and the Teutul family, leading fans to trust yet again that the series had a long and bright future ahead. There was even hope that the shops would eventually merge, and OCC would have its second in command as before, but without the aggressive arguments that defined the first six years of the show.

To their customary misfortune, it became obvious after the 12th season’s finish on 2 April 2019 that no new episodes were in the making. The only reasonable conclusion was that the age of “American Chopper: The Series” was truly over.

The farewell was presumably made easier by the ultimate two-hour special that came out on 28 July 2020, in which OCC and PJD came together to build a bike from scratch – something that had never happened in the entire history of the series.

The two protagonists were the same, but a lot had changed over the years, and OCC was moving its HQ for the first time in 17 years. This provided a bothersome time constraint for the Teutuls, as they had only eight weeks to build a chopper deserving of their legendary repute for ABC Supply Company, the biggest roofing enterprise in the country.

OCC’s trials and tribulations

Aside from the world-famous series, a few other negative factors combined to bring OCC to where it is in 2023. It became clear over the years that Senior’s talent for building unparalleled choppers didn’t really help with much else, as he fell on hard times upon Junior’s departure.

For example, a bankruptcy fraud lawsuit haunting the Teutuls from as early as 2003 culminated in mid-2007, draining energy and resources from an already spent Senior. In essence, it was alleged that he and the sons fraudulently filed for bankruptcy after selling assets of one son’s company to that of another.

They were accused of abusing the right to declare bankruptcy so as to avoid paying the significant costs incurred by transferring all the assets, and it was said that they owed upwards of $1.3 million to the damaged parties. A settlement of $500,000 was eventually reached, with the cash being given to the accuser by OCC.

Advertisement

In 2018 there was a brand new bankruptcy filing by Senior, in which he stated that he was making only $15,000 per month, stating that he owed approximately 50 creditors almost $1.1 million, with his total wealth numbering $1.8 million. He also listed the family home for sale, but had great trouble finding a buyer.

As if that weren’t enough, he had lost another lawsuit in 2020, paying photographer Scott Gunnells almost $260,000 for using his artwork without consent. One particular photo that Scott took was printed on various merchandise items by OCC, and was shown on screen in the series multiple times as well.

OCC into the future

For the aforementioned reasons, a decision was finally made in early 2020 to move the business to new premises, in St. Petersburg, Florida, right next to the famed Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson store. The new location allowed Senior to expand into other ventures as well, fulfilling the lifelong dream of turning OCC into a lifestyle brand, instead of just a chopper workshop.

The facility was named OCC Road House & Museum, featuring the standard work area and retail section, as well as several amenities one wouldn’t normally expect near a chopper store, such as a restaurant, billiard hall, concert pavilion, and museum. The facility has been operating at full steam since late June 2021, attracting perhaps even bigger crowds than during the heyday of the “American Chopper” franchise

Their website is mostly dedicated to the restaurant service, but it also lists the frequent one-of-a-kind events that take place on the premises, such as live music performances at the concert hall, and biker get-togethers that are attended by chopper aficionados from all over the country.

All in all, in spite of the numerous obstacles along the way, it can be said with some certainty that Senior has got over his monetary woes, and found a place under the bright blue sky for OCC, which is well on its way to becoming an all-encompassing brand.

Continue Reading

Recommended

Actors6 hours ago

Lucas Bryant’s Biography – Wife, Net Worth, Height, Daughter

Lucas Bryant is a Canadian-American actor, who is probably best known for his portrayal of the character Nathan Wuornos in...

Lists15 hours ago

How Amy Slaton is Coping with Her Divorce and Raising Two Sons?

The first season of “1000-Lb Sisters” gave viewers a beautiful life story between high school friends who went their separate...

Lists16 hours ago

What happened to Sugar Bear? What’s he doing now?

Whether you loved or you hated them, there’s no doubt that the stars of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child”...

Lists2 days ago

What happened to Orange County Choppers after “American Chopper”?

Orange County Choppers (OCC) is probably the world’s most famous custom motorcycle manufacturing company, revered by bikers around the globe...

Lists2 days ago

How are Elizabeth Potthast and Andrei Castravet doing today? Pregnant with Second Baby

Elizabeth “Libby” Potthast and Andrei Castravet are undoubtedly among the most memorable couples in the TV series “90 Day Fiancé.”...

Actors2 days ago

What is Tom Mison doing now? Wife, Baby, Height, Net Worth

Contents1 Introduction2 Early life and Education3 Theatre Career4 Film and TV Career5 Personal Life6 Net Worth7 Physical characteristics Introduction If...

Musicians2 days ago

Shadows’ Biography – Net Worth, Wife, Tattoo, Height

Contents1 Who is M Shadows?2 The Net Worth of M Shadows3 Early Life and Career Beginnings4 Avenged Sevenfold5 Solo Projects6...

Actors2 days ago

Naked Truth Of Elizabeth Mitchell – Net Worth, Measurements

Contents1 Introduction2 Early life and Education3 Career4 Personal Life5 Net Worth6 Physical characteristics Introduction Not all famous people have had...

Actors2 days ago

Where is Kevin Chamberlin today? Age, Net Worth. Gay? Died?

Contents1 Early life, family, educational background2 Career2.1 Theatre2.2 Television Series2.3 Movies3 Personal life4 Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts5 Appearance6...

Lists2 days ago

What is Avery Shoaf from ‘Rust Valley Restorers’ up to today?

Finishing a long-delayed rebuilding project can bring an incomparable sense of satisfaction for a car owner, but what happens when...

Lists2 days ago

How is Janine from ‘My 600-lb Life’ going today?

Janine Mueller’s episode started on a depressing note, because it showed that her struggles with weight began at a very...

Actors2 days ago

How old is Coco Quinn? Age, Height, Sister, Family, Net Worth

Contents1 Who is Coco Quinn?2 Childhood and education3 Sisters and family4 Career as a social media star5 Career as an...

Trending