The Untold Truth Of Brandi Passante From Storage Wars

When Brandi Passante from Storage Wars made her TV debut in 2010, no one could have predicted an A&E reality show about people battling over the contents of abandoned storage lockers would be so entertaining — let alone become one of the cable channel's most popular and enduring hits. Yet that's precisely what happened, thanks to a cast of eccentric characters given such nicknames as "The Collector," "The Mogul," and "The Young Gun" — with the moniker "The Young Gun" tagged to Jarrod Schulz, whose hilarious bickering with partner Passante kept viewers tuning in and coming back.

Passante quickly became a ubiquitous presence on Storage Wars, but how much do the show's fans really know about the no-nonsense Texas native whose epic eye-rolls and razor-tipped stares can shut down Schulz's shenanigans in a microsecond? "While Jarrod is more of a risk taker with his bidding, his hard-nosed, sharp-tongued wife Brandi is always there to question his decisions."

Read on to discover the untold truth of Storage Wars star Brandi Passante.

How Brandi Passante wound up on Storage Wars

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz came to the attention of Storage Wars producers through their Now and Then secondhand store in California's Orange County, which they stocked with items obtained by bidding on abandoned lockers. During one auction, Schulz was approached by producers of what would become Storage Wars.

After hearing nothing for eight months, Schulz received a call from producers asking if they could shoot footage in the couple's store. As it happened, Passante was manning the cash register that day. "They asked me, 'Who's the girl up front?'" Schulz recalled in an interview with The Orange County Register. "'Would she mind being on TV?'" In an interview with the The Saline CourierPassante shared, "They asked if we wanted to be on camera for a few minutes," she said. "We really didn't think it would go anywhere, but it became a big deal."

The rest is Storage Wars history. "It's a blessing and a curse," Passante told the Register of the unexpected fame that followed. "Sometimes you just want to go to the grocery store and pick up some milk."

How Brandi Passante from Storage Wars keeps her private life separate from her on-air exploits

While Brandi Passante was becoming a celebrity from her appearances on Storage Wars, she continued to run a thrift shop with Jarrod Schulz. Filming together on the show plus working side by side at the store, the couple quickly realized that some boundaries needed to be set.

"We figured out a balance because we're together 24/7," Passante told Filipino entertainment site PEP. "You cannot bring your work life into your home life, so whatever conflict we ever had during the day, we let it go when we come home."

Schulz backed her up. "You really have to separate the drama that happens at the auction from the life that you have once you walk in the house," he explained. "You really have to. A lot of the times, we pick it back up tomorrow when we get back to the shop but we don't take it home. We don't talk about it during the dinner, we just really have to check it at the door."

What Brandi Passante from Storage Wars really thinks of Dave "Yuuup" Hester

Brandi Passante from Storage Wars is not one to keep her feelings to herself, and that's one of the key reasons why she became a fan favorite. That bluntness held true when she was asked to share her opinion of Dave Hester, whose belligerent demeanor and "Yuuup!" catchphrase made him the show's primary villain, the kind of character who fans really love to hate. When Inquirer.net asked Passante if Hester was "a real jerk," she did not mince words. "Yes," she replied, leading Jarrod Schulz to quip, "That was a short answer." She agreed, saying, "That was quick and easy." 

Schulz then seemed to reject the allegations Hester made in the infamous lawsuit he filed against the show that what viewers were seeing on Storage Wars had all been staged and their dialogue scripted. "Nobody tells us what to say," said Schulz about the reality of what takes place during filming of each episode of Storage Wars. "If it appears as if Dave is getting on my nerves, it's because Dave is getting on my nerves."

Were Brandi Passante's rivalries with her Storage Wars co-stars for real?

As anyone who's ever watched Storage Wars knows, the beating heart at the core of the show is the friction and competition between the show's stars as they taunt, cajole, and goad each other into bidding — or not bidding — on a particular storage locker. While they don't seem to be bitter enemies on the show, the Storage Wars cast don't seem like besties either. So what's really going on? 

 "We're not buddies," Brandi Passante from Storage Wars told The Saline Courier of the sometimes-fraught relationships she and Jarrod Schulz have had with their fellow competitors. "We don't go hang out afterwards."

However, that apparent antipathy doesn't apply to every person in the Storage Wars cast, and there's one member of the crew that they singled out as a friend. "We like Barry," Passante told Inquirer.net of the show's star Barry Weiss, the eccentric guy the show dubbed "The Collector." Schulz added, "We've kept in touch," noting, "We see him a few times a year. We hang out."

The weirdest thing Brandi Passante ever found inside a Storage Wars locker

As Storage Wars has demonstrated time and again, there are some bizarre things to be found inside storage lockers. During a 2017 interview with The Mystery Men Show podcast, Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz were asked to single out the weirdest thing they've ever found within a locker. 

According to Schulz, the couple opened up one locker and found five locked wooden boxes. "So we unlock them, and there's some form of powder in Ziploc bags," said Passante. Schulz's first thought: "I'm thinking cocaine off the bat."  

Passante, however, soon came to a different conclusion. "But I'm holding it, I'm looking at it, and I was like, what is this?" she said. "And I realized that there was a dog tag on one of the boxes. I was like, 'Oh my god, they're dogs!' They're dead dogs. They're ashes from their dogs." She added, "First I was grossed out. Then I felt really guilty, so we sent them up front so [the owners of the locker's contents] could come and pick up their dogs."

The truth behind Brandi Passante's exit from Storage Wars

Fans were shocked when Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz exited Storage Wars in 2014, with their absence from the show resulting in a big void for viewers accustomed to the couple's hilarious banter and joke-filled bickering.

However, there was a good reason. Passante and Schulz took leave from Storage Wars was so they could start filming a new project: a Storage Wars spinoff titled Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job. The new show took everything fans loved about the pair's unique dynamic and put it front and center. "After 15 years together, Brandi and Jarrod finally decide to tie the knot, and they approach wedding planning in a way that only they could: with a little love, a lot of bickering and constant detours along the way," A&E described the spinoff in a press release

For the couple, becoming reality TV stars was bizarre enough, but landing their own spinoff?  "Neither of us really aspired to be on TV," admitted Schulz in an interview with The Orange County Register. "My brother-in-law tells me, 'I don't even play the lottery.' Because we already won it."

How Brandi Passante from Storage Wars fought back after being the victim of fake adult footage

In the fall of 2012, Brandi Passante's world was rocked when revealing photos and video of a woman who appeared to be her showed up on an adult website. The footage in question, however, was fake, with the site's owner identifying a woman who resembled Passante as being the Storage Wars star.

As a television personality and mother of two, Passante was understandably mortified. She retaliated by launching a $2.5 million lawsuit against the site's owner, Hunter Moore. "Passante looked at the referenced website and was horrified, hurt and ashamed to see images of someone portraying her in ... video and associated images," declared her lawsuit, as reported by The Wrap. "Passante never made any such video, has never had any contact with Mr. Moore and did not send him sexual images. Moore fabricated the video for the purpose of trading on Passante's fame and celebrity to draw traffic to his site."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Passante won her lawsuit the following year. Her court victory turned out to be hollow when the judge awarded her not $2.5 million, but a mere $750, declaring her request was not justifiable.

Brandi Passante from Storage Wars initially struggled with being with Jarod Schulz constantly

Being together at their shop, being together while filming Storage Wars, being together while raising their kids — that was a lot of togetherness for Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz. In fact, Passante admitted that being in each other's faces constantly did put a strain on their relationship at first, and she said it took some doing for the couple to try to find the right balance. "Working together as a couple every day is quite an obstacle to overcome. We're together 24 hours a day seven days a week trying to make business decisions together," she told California's Times-Standard

"There's a formula," she told radio show host Big Boy of Los Angeles' Power 106 in a 2013 interview. "We had some rockstar fights at the beginning. You know, just being together 24/7, it's a little tough — it's trying."

However, her significant other tried to see the bright side of their constant togetherness. "But you always get to take the carpool lane," joked Schulz.

Does Brandi Passante from Storage Wars want her kids to follow in her line of work?

Brandi Passante shares two children, a son and a daughter, with Jarrod Schulz. Asked by Inquirer.net if they wanted their kids to follow their career path, the couple did not waffle. "Lord, I hope not!" quipped Passante. "Our kids will not be in the buying-storage-units business," insisted Schulz. 

Schulz added that their son, Cameron, wants to be a director one day. "I told him it's a tough industry," he noted. While his son expressed hopes to work at their family store if his directing career doesn't pan out, Schulz said, "No way!" And he told his son that he wouldn't even let him get his first job at the shop. "You need to make your own path. Don't follow in my footsteps," he said.

As Passante explained, she, Schulz, and their kids were all taken by surprise when the show Storage Wars became an unexpected hit. "Not in a million years! We had no idea," said Passante when asked if she ever dreamed Storage Wars would become as popular as it did.

How Brandi Passante juggled Storage Wars and motherhood

Brandi Passante is like many working moms who juggle their careers with family responsibilities. In an interview with MyLifetime.com (via Starcasm)Passante was asked if she experienced "mom guilt," but she insisted that her experience as a working mother actually proved to be the opposite. "I think I'm a better parent because I work," she insisted. Noting that she found being a stay-at-home mother to be "difficult," she explained that felt "alienated and depressed" without a career. "I think I'm a better parent because I work. I'm happier because of it," she shared.

Asked about her secret to balancing all her varying obligations, she quipped, "If there's a formula, I haven't figured it out yet!" The extra income from Storage Wars, she explained, allowed her family to "afford to hire some help." She explained, "I work all the time, so I need someone to assist with the day-to-day stuff, but I do try to make time for the kids. In fact, we are going to Universal Studios in a few days. Oh — also, I rely heavily on caffeine to make it through the day!"

How Brandi Passante responded to claims that her Storage Wars spinoff was scripted

Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job didn't turn out to be the hit that Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz had hoped, and A&E made the decision to cancel the show after its freshman season

Still, the Storage Wars spinoff gave viewers some extra insight into the couple's relationship. As Schulz told The Orange County Register, what viewers saw on Married to the Job wasn't an act. "It makes our dysfunction seem a little less dysfunctional," he joked. 

While cynics (and Storage Wars co-star Dave Hester's lawsuit) might accuse the show of scripting dialogue for the couple to pass off as their own, Passante insisted that was not the case. In fact, she pointed out that would actually make the whole process significantly more difficult as neither she nor Schulz are actors who've been trained to memorize lines. Instead, they simply blurt out whatever pops into their heads. "I feel like that is something that would never work," Passante said of why any attempt to script Brandi & Jarrod: Married to the Job or Storage Wars would be utterly futile. "You just have to let it come out naturally."

Brandi Passante from Storage Wars has devoted time for charity work

While TV viewers only know the Brandi Passante who bickers with her significant other over too-expensive storage lockers and shoots withering put-downs at her Storage Wars competitors, they might not realize that she's also committed to using her unexpected fame to do good. This was the case in October 2019, when she volunteered to emcee a charity event for Women's Own Worth, which raised $100,000 for the Arkansas-based organization devoted to "empowering victims of domestic violence and survivors of violent crime through supportive self-worth opportunities."

Passante told The Saline Courier"I have experienced some things in my life, and it's a really wonderful cause. It's things that are needed, so I wanted to help in any way possible." 

Passante became involved after meeting the organization's founder Jajuan Archer through a mutual friend, and decided she wanted to do whatever she could to help. Of her experience working with the charity in Arkansas, she shared that she loves it, noting, "Everyone has been so kind and generous." 

Brandi Passante made some decent money thanks to Storage Wars

According to Celebrity Net WorthStorage Wars has been very good for the state of Brandi Passante's bank account, with the site estimating her net worth to be about $2 million.

Passante certainly didn't have that high net worth back in 2013 when MyLifetime.com asked Passante if she was a millionaire (via Starcasm). "Not hardly," she quipped. However, Jarrod Schulz admitted that their television fame has definitely brought the couple some perks. "Our style of living has definitely gone up," he told The Orange Country Register. "We'll go to a restaurant and the chef will send us out something special," he said.

However, Passante admitted she has mixed feelings about fame. "This may come as a surprise to some people, but I'm actually a very shy person," she told MyLifetime.com. "I even get anxiety when I have to go out to the store or to the gas station because I'm afraid of people approaching me. I was even shy as a child."

Did Brandi Passante from Storage Wars break up with Jarrod Schulz?

In fall 2019, rumors began to emerge that Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz from Storage Wars had split up when her Instagram followers began to realize her posts had been devoid of any photos of the couple for some time. In fact, as of this writing, the last time the two were shown together on social media was in a photo of a family trip to Disneyland that Schulz shared back in November 2018. 

While Schulz has been absent from Passante's social media, she has shared several photos of herself accompanied by a mystery man who has appeared in other posts. Her sharp-eyed Instagram followers have noticed, taking to the comments section to share their concerns. "Where's Jarrod?" asked one fan. A second added, "Haven't seen your husband lately on your post! Is everything OK?" Another of her followers put it right out there, asking, "Are you and Jarrod all done???"

For the time being, the answer to that question is unclear, and the status of the couple's relationship remains uncertain. If they have indeed split, neither Passante nor Schulz have responded to the numerous social media queries about their romance.