Pawn Stars first aired on the History channel in 2009 and since then, the show has only become more popular. Recently, however, things have not been exactly great for one of its stars, in his public as well as personal affairs. Something is certainly going on with Chumlee.
The Star Of The Show
Filmed in Las Vegas, the show owes its ongoing success to its hilarious cast members, especially Austin Lee Russell, aka the full of life Chumlee, who surely knows how to show his comedic personality on camera.
Not The Best Student In High School
There is a lot more to this Nevada native than his Pawn Stars persona. Not a lot of people know that things were not easy for him as he was growing up. This was because as a kid, he was not academically-inclined.
He Never Graduated
During his high school years, he would pay other students to finish his homework for him. We bet that no one was particularly shocked upon hearing that Chumlee dropped out.
The Story Behind It
Besides his academic difficulties, it also did not help that he was given his nickname, Chumlee, for less than flattering reasons. The moniker may sound cute to us, but the reason behind Russell getting the name is not exactly nice.
Cute Nickname But Cruel Intentions
People began calling him that after Chumley, the stout walrus on the cartoon Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales from the ‘60s. Kids can be so mean sometimes. That must have hurt Russell growing up.
Friends From Childhood
Fortunately for Russell, he could rely on his childhood friend, Corey Harrison. If you are a fan of Pawn Stars, you know that Corey ended up becoming Russell’s co-star on the show.
A Friendship With Employment Benefits
When they were younger, Russell and Corey would often hang out at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, which is owned by Corey’s dad, Rick. The friendship came with benefits, such as Russell getting to work at the shop full time when he turned 21.
Not What He Expected
It is true that you need a certain precision if you work at a pawn shop. However, doing menial work is what is mostly involved in the job. Many people would probably not think of it as a glamorous career.
Five Short Years Later
Despite this, Chumlee ended up with a career on television five years after he started working full time at Gold & Silver. However, compared to working at the pawn shop, he probably enjoys working in front of the camera more.
Can’t Help It
Pawn Stars gained more success and fame with each passing season, and Chumlee often became the comic relief. On the show, he was the guy who made the viewers as well as his co-stars laugh with his jokes.
Not The Best Buys
His interest in sneakers, video games, pinball, and rap often showed in the things that he targeted. While we agree that these objects can be very fascinating, in the end, it became apparent that they were not good financial decisions.
Making Many Mistakes
Chumlee also made some silly mistakes, but they allegedly happened before the cameras started rolling. For example, he once placed a stand-up bass that a client brought in against a shelf. To everyone’s horror, the item fell, breaking into pieces. Apparently, the bass could have been worth a staggering $20,000!
Popularity For His Mishaps
The other cast members of Pawn Stars liked to tease Chumlee for mishaps like the one we mentioned. This dynamic is quite consistent and you will see it if you watch the show more than once. It is also what endeared Russell to fans.
Quite The Popular Guy
Apparently, he received a lot of attention in the beginning, so he had to be accompanied by a bodyguard at public appearances with the whole team. That is surely proof that Chumlee hit the big time!
Enjoying The Fame
At first, Chumlee felt good that he was receiving lot of attention. He partnered with his personal assistant to launch a line of personalized merchandise. The other members of the cast soon followed suit.
However, they could not sell as much as Chumlee could. This is what happens if other cast members are not as popular as you! Another more recent business venture that he has embarked on is opening a candy shop right on the Vegas strip!
Quite The Private Person
It is not in Chumlee’s nature to talk about his earnings. Despite this, people know that he got $155,000 for selling 50 percent of his Gold & Silver shares to Rick Harrison in 2010.
Surprisingly Business Minded
He sold half of his shares so that he could focus on selling his personalized merchandise. It is pretty clear that Chumlee’s bumbler reputation is not exactly true. After all, he obviously has business sense!
Time To Make A Change
Besides this, Russell began showing interest in improving himself. Two weeks before Pawn Stars first aired, his father passed away at just 54 years old. Russell was not really fit and his father’s death motivated him to have a healthier lifestyle, eat better, and exercise more.
A Healthier Lifestyle
His father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and lost the battle in 2009. He was only 54 years old. This motivated Russell, who was not really fit, to change his lifestyle. He decided to make improvements to his diet and exercise more.
The Mind And Soul
Chumlee started eating healthier and made sure to include exercise in his daily routine. He hits the gym and practices yoga to get his blood flowing. He is a big fan of meditation and mindfulness, which is therapy for both the mind and soul.
Taking The Necessary Steps
Chumlee made sure that his plan was solid in order to achieve his goal. He dropped by the gym almost every day, stopped eating red meat and in the morning, he would drink fruit smoothies. The results are definitely unbelievable…
This health plan may have been intense but the transformation that resulted from it was truly impressive. It seems that following in his footsteps is a good idea if you want to take better care of yourself!
Healthy And Happy
It was between 2012 and 2013 when Chumlee’s impressive metamorphosis happened. He managed to lose a lot of weight! He does not only look healthier but also happier, which is definitely great news.
A Major Change
To be specific, Chumlee dropped an impressive 75 pounds! It appears this major change really turned his life around. We do not know about you but we think he looks much happier.
Turning His Life Around
Before his impressive transformation, he could not ride a hovercraft since he was too heavy for it, but now, he can finally go on one. Aside from that, he started dating Tanya Hyjazi, his long-term girlfriend. Good going, Chumlee!
Chumlee’s long-term girlfriend, Tanya Hyjazi, is a chef at the Mirage Casino’s STACK Restaurant & Bar. It seems that changing his eating habits is not the only thing Chumlee wants to do. Building new relationships and strengthen them appears to be part of his plan as well!
Recently, Chumlee went down on his knee and proposed to Tanya, so they are now engaged! There was a celebration in Waikiki’s The Royal Hawaiian Resort and another one with friends at the Andiamo Italian Steakhouse in Las Vegas.
The Whole Gang
The beautiful couple was with friends and family during the celebration. Needless to say, Chumlee’s co-stars and good friends from Pawn Stars like Corey Harrison and Rick Harrison celebrated with the couple.
Where Things Went Wrong
With everything that was happening in Chumlee’s life, no one could have guessed that things would soon take a turn for the worse. The sign of trouble first appeared in March 2016.
All Charges Were Dropped
Chumlee became a suspect in a sexual assault investigation. One of the shop’s employees had made the charges. Eventually, they were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Just The Beginning
This case may have ended well for Chumlee, but this was not the last of his troubles with the law. He was in hot water again because he was charged once more…
The Results Of A Police Raid
This time, the investigation involved searching his home, resulting in more problems. Although the authorities found nothing that was valuable to the case at hand, there were other things in Chumlee’s possession that they discovered.
Illegal Substances Abound
The police found marijuana, crystal meth, and a gun in Chumlee’s home. These things gave the authorities enough reason to keep a close watch on the reality TV star.
Even More Incriminating Things
The authorities conducted a second raid on his home and found even more contraband items! They discovered 11 firearms, but only four of them were registered. Of course, this became another problem for Chumlee.
Aside from that, more drugs were found and there was even evidence which suggested cocaine use. Anyone can guess what happened next. Needless to say, Chumlee was arrested.
At The Very Least
Within several months, fan favorite Chumlee faced 20 separate felony counts. At least, the court found no evidence of the firearms being used in any illegal activities, otherwise things would have been far worse for the TV personality.
The firearms found in Chumlee’s possession had not been used for anything illegal. At least, this one thing went well for the television personality.
Justice Being Served
Chumlee pled guilty to unlawful weapons possession, drug possession, and attempted misdemeanor. He did this so that he could avoid getting prison time. He was placed on probation for 12 months.
The Worst Is Behind Him
During this period, Chumlee should behave properly because if he does, only the misdemeanor charge will be included in his record. Besides that, he needs to attend counselling. That sounds fair to us, though. It seems his streak of bad luck will end soon.
A Rough Patch
The tide seems to be slowly turning for him. If you think his career will end because of this scandal, you might be wrong. Things seem to be getting better for him. Ultimately, however, only time will tell.
A Hard Year
Before 2016 ended, Chumlee was interviewed. He opened up about the things that he was dealing with. In addition, the reality TV star admitted that the year had been rough for him.
Thanking His Supporters
Many might think his career will end due to this scandal, but the opposite seems to be happening. In an interview in 2016, aside from acknowledging the year had been pretty rough for him, Chumlee also expressed his gratitude to the fans for the support he received in such a difficult time.
He also posted this photo on Instagram and added the caption, “I just wanted to give a quick shout-out to all my amazing fans that come and see me daily at @chums_candy – Thank you all for all the amazing love you show me. Come see me this weekend.”
The Fate Of Pawn Stars
As for the show, there was a lot of speculation regarding the status of Pawn Stars at the time. People were wondering if it was going to be renewed or discontinued.
Back To Normal
Fortunately, the reality television show continued airing, much to the fans’ relief! In addition, Chumlee is still involved. Hopefully, things will be back to normal for the star in no time! What’s more, his probation is due to end soon.
When Chumlee had to deal with his legal troubles, he went on hiatus from the show. During this time, he focused on improving himself, physically and mentally. This was probably the best thing he could have done. Improving yourself is never a waste of time.
Pawn Stars is also doing amazing! The show recently celebrated its 500th episode! Chumlee took to Instagram and posted this photo with this caption: “Come celebrate our 500th episode Monday night on History [channel]. This is something we could not have done without you!!!! Thank you!!!”
Thanks To Chumlee
Chumlee is one of the reasons why Pawn Stars is successful. His kind heart and lively personality are part of why viewers keep watching the show!
Since Pawn Stars is doing really well, the History channel has decided to try some spin-offs. Today, there are already around nine of them! They include Pawnography, Cajun Pawn Stars, Pawn Stars: Pumped Up, Counting Cars, Hardcore Pawn, Pawn Stars UK, Pawn Stars Australia, Pawn Queens, and Harcore Pawn: Chicago.
Money, Money, Money
Chumlee is surely doing pretty well for himself. Aside from his role on Pawn Stars, he has his side businesses and he makes many appearances, so this guy rakes in the cash! Wouldn’t it be great to spend some time at his $1.5 million mansion in Las Vegas. The pool is to die for!
Back And Better Than Ever
Although it seems that Chumlee went down a bad path, the reality TV star is now back – stronger than ever. We definitely hope that he has learned from his mistakes and that he makes sure they will never happen again!
A Stable Life
As for now, he continues to focus on improving himself every day. His home life is very stable with his wife and the couple’s adorable dog. We all know that stability is key!
Chumlee is still part of the cast of Pawn Stars, and he appears to be going into new business ventures a lot! For now, watch out for this guy. He is doing great things.