Chumlee is vowing to fight the drug and gun charges that saw him locked up this week, and the Pawn Stars fan favorite is getting plenty of support from fans.
The reality television star was arrested this week when Las Vegas police searched his home in connection to a sexual assault investigation, finding a gun and drugs including marijuana and meth.
As TMZ reported, Chumlee decided to cancel a planned appearance as a DJ on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Chumlee won’t be pumping up the jam on the Strip… he just cancelled his DJ appearance.
“The ‘Pawn Stars’ co-star was set to spin at Tru Nightclub Friday evening in Vegas, but since he just got out of jail Thursday… the club was unclear if he’d show. Chumlee’s lawyer tells us he proactively chose to bow out.”
Chumlee, whose real name is Austin Russell, is reportedly still under investigation for sexual assault, though it was actually drugs and a gun that sent him to jail this week.
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 12, 2016
'Chumlee' from “Pawn Stars” arrested in Vegas on weapons and drug charges.https://t.co/5uP7iQqkkD
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) March 10, 2016
“During the course of a sexual assault investigation and search warrant search regarding Austin Lee Russell, detectives found illegal substances like methamphetamines, marijuana and several guns which he’s prohibited from owning, which resulted in his arrest.” Officer Larry Hadfield of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement (via Hollywood Life).
Chumlee posted $62,000 bail and was released this week and has vowed to fight both the charges already filed and the sexual assault allegations. Chumlee’s attorney, David Chesnoff, told The Associated Press that he’s “looking forward to the truthful conclusion” of the charges.
Many of Chumlee’s fans are standing by him, saying that the sexual assault allegations are baseless.
“I don’t see Chumlee doing that,” Damon Leaks told KTNV. “I think that might be somebody out trying to get his pawn star money.”
He also has the support of Rick Harrison, whose family has owned and operated the pawn shop since 1989. Harrison told US Weekly that “we are here to help Chumlee in any way we can.”
Chumlee is a fan favorite on Pawn Stars for his simple nature and strange antics.
“Chum – the comic, the philosopher, the artist, the brother, the man,” says his biography on the show’s website. “Chumlee is the best definition of an accidental celebrity to ever come across the media. After all, what is it he is famous for? He loves his sneakers, his caps, his designer duds, his family and his friends and maybe a little music, too.
“He is a great shot in basketball, an amazing big brother, a generous-beyond-what-is-good-for-him friend, and a champ in so many ways. Funny without meaning to be and sometimes while meaning to be, he is a breakout star and fan favorite. Chum will never lie to anyone, he is truthful to a fault but he thinks long and hard about any answer, opinion, or bit of wisdom he is about to lay on you.”
Chumlee has also branched out beyond the show, with his own merchandise line and a large following of supporters. In a 2014 interview, Chumlee said that it’s easy for fans to relate to him.
“People can relate to me, and they root for me because on the show I am the dumb guy, the one who is a little rougher around the edges,” Russell told the Las Vegas Sun in 2014. “I’m the guy they want to hug.”
Police have not yet announced how the sexual assault allegations against Chumlee will proceed or whether he could face charges.
[Image via The History Channel]