Anyone who has watched the TV show “Pawn Stars” knows that the core of the show is the strong bond between the members of the family that run the shop. It is also clear in the show how much Richard loved his son Rick.
That’s why it came as such a shock when people heard that “Old Man” Harrison had cut Rick out of his will. What on earth could cause him to exclude his son whom he loved so dearly? However, once the details began to emerge fans were left reeling from the shock.
“Pawn Stars” is a History Channel reality TV show that ran for 17 very successful seasons. Even after the death of one of the most beloved stars the show continued to captivate and entertain fans.
One of the things that drew fans to the show was watching the family dynamics on the show and how they played out on screen. These interactions were the very heart of the show. However, as we know, what we see is just the tip of the iceberg and what happened behind the scenes was something no one could have imagined.
The store’s founder, Richard Harrison, the patriarch of the family was born in 1941. He came from an impoverished background and it wasn’t long before he found himself caught up in a life of petty crimes and trouble.
The turning point in his life came when he was arrested for stealing a car and was offered a choice. Join the Navy or go to jail. Opting for the former, Richard ended up reaching the rank of Petty Officer, First Class during the 20 years he had served. Upon leaving the Navy, however, he was in desperate need of money.
During his time in the Navy, Richard married Joanne Rhue, the love of his life. While he was at sea, she was trying to start her own real estate business. The two did not only have to deal with their constant separation, however.
The couple had three young sons who depended on them. That’s why when Joanne’s business began failing it was a huge concern. Richard thought that perhaps moving his family to a big cite where there may be more opportunities would be the best way to help his family.
Scraping together what little they still had, Richard and his family decided to move to Las Vegas, Nevada. He rented a tiny 300-square meter store where he opened his business which bought and sold gold and silver coins.
His business did well enough for him to expand and that’s when he saw his pawnshop start to really turn a profit. That’s when he realized he was onto a good thing. He decided to focus on that and got his eldest son Rick to help him.
The bond between father and son grew stronger and stronger as the business went from strength to strength. It wasn’t long before they developed a type of “good cop/bad cop” routine which allowed them to high-value items for the lowest price they could.
As a result, Rick developed very sharp negotiation skills which were a great boon in the business. This shrewd negotiation is the trait most associated with his character on the show. However, Rick isn’t the only son and the other’s weren’t as invested in the store as Rick.
During the first 16 seasons of the show, there have been many dramatic and emotional moments and events. However, the bond between Richard and Rick just seemed to flourish and grow ever closer. Every conflict or remarkable find just made them grow closer.
Richard was aware of the importance of trust between business partners and the toll it can take on family relationships. Running a business is difficult enough, more so when it affects your family. However, as strong as his bond with Rick was, the bonds with his other children were less solid.
It’s no secret that Rick’s hero is his father Richard. The close bond that they share as father and son is undeniable. However, the bond isn’t only that of a father and son who share their lives. They also share a booming business.
Richard was under no illusion as to how lucky he was that bringing his family into the business didn’t cause a rift or irreparable damage as is often the case. However, this didn’t mean that trouble lay just over the horizon.
Around the end of season 15, Richard sadly passed away from Parkinson’s disease. The loss was felt by many, not least because it left a huge hole at the very core of the series characters. Fans worldwide mourned “Old Man” Harrison’s passing.
Needless to say, the loss of his mentor and father, Rick was devastated and heartbroken. However, when it came to the funeral there were several unexpected surprises which just highlighted how strained their relationship truly was.
As can be expected from a show that ran for 17 seasons, there were some very tense moments between the family members involved in the business. The show didn’t only focus on the father/son dynamic duo and their good cop/bad cop tactics.
Other members of the family such as Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, Ricks grandson, as well as his close childhood friend Austin “Chumlee” Russell. It was Chumlee who lay at the center of most of the off-screen troubles.
Losing a father was a difficult enough process for Rick to go through, but Richard had one last moment of drama for his family. When someone passes away, they usually leave a will that declares what they would like to leave for their descendants.
But when RIck and his brothers were called into the lawyer’s office to go through their father’s will, they were shocked by their father’s decisions.
When the family reviewed Richard’s will, they were shocked to see that he had left one of his children out of it. According to a part of the will that was released to the public, Richard said: “I would like to express my love and affection for Christopher Keith Harrison; however for purposes of this Will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue.”
Why had Richard left Christopher out of his will? Everyone knew about the tensions between Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison, and Austin “Chumlee” Russell, so why weren’t they excluded?
At one point, Rick confessed he’d considered firing Chumlee for his unruly behavior and careless decision-making, causing more tension in the family. At the height of his controversial lifestyle, Chumlee’s home was raided by police during an investigation into assault.
This didn’t sit well with Rick at all. But what they found in the house would damage the reputation of the family, making it difficult for Richard and Rick to support him. What they found shocked many fans too.
Police found illicit substances and several guns in Chumlee’s house. The star got away with three years of probation and continues to appear on the show. His family and colleagues were quick to put aside their squabbles when Richard passed away.
Knowing the “Old Man” to be especially savvy with money, they were all curious to know what his final wishes would be. But they never expected to hear what the lawyer had to say.
When Rick sat in the lawyer’s office listening to the reading of their father’s will, he knew something was up. Despite being a shrewd businessman and accountant, Richard was usually very forthcoming about his affairs with them, so to hear this from a stranger in a suit was concerning.
They asked the lawyer to repeat what he’d just said.
The lawyer cleared his throat and re-read the passage, “I would like to express my love and affection for Christopher Keith Harrison; however for purposes of this will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue.”
Christopher had not chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps and never appeared on the show alongside his brother Rick or nephew Corey. But that doesn’t explain why he was cut out.
Many fans of the show will probably not even have heard Christopher’s name mentioned up until now. The reason for this is that Christopher was the only child in the family who wasn’t part of the family business.
But Christopher was still Richard’s son. What had he done to get himself excluded from his father’s will?
Fans were left scratching their heads. Some suggest the reason Richard didn’t leave Christopher any money was simply due to the fact that he wasn’t involved in the business, therefore not entitled to any of the takings. But that doesn’t explain the remark about “his issue”.
Another fan commented, “Sorry, I actually would like to know why he was left off. Didn’t he get along with the other brother? Or just not the dad?” The family lawyers gave a statement saying there was no reason given to them, but that it was agreed before his passing.
As the son who stood by his father’s side since he was small, Rick remembers him fondly, “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad.”
“That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him.”
Ultimately though, it seemed as though Richard’s reasons would have to remain a mystery for now. While Rick and his son Corey “Big Boss” Harrison had admitted to discussing this with his father earlier in their relationship, they have decided to keep his reasons for the decision a mystery.
While some have speculated that the decision was largely motivated by the fact that Christopher was not directly involved in the family business, we will probably never know the exact reasons…