Austin "Chumlee" Russel, Rick and Corey Harrison
Source: Getty

Chumlee Is the Most Senior 'Pawn Stars' Employee Outside of the Harrison Family

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Apr. 12 2021, Updated 4:26 p.m. ET

Ever since Pawn Stars first aired, the biggest provider of comic relief and a genuine smile every episode has been Austin "Chumlee" Russell. The longtime employee of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas has become a mainstay on the History Channel program that he gained his fame through.

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Although many know Chumlee at face value through his lovable antics on the show, not many know his true relationship to the Harrison family, who own and run the shop. So, is Chumlee related to Rick Harrison, the pawn shop's owner? Here's a breakdown of exactly how their relationship came to be.

is chumlee related to rick pawn stars
Source: Getty
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Is Chumlee related to Rick? Not by blood, but he is like a son to him.

Chumlee may not actually be one of Rick's children, but he's the closest thing someone could be to one. A lifelong friend of Rick's actual son and fellow show star Corey Harrison, Chumlee has been coming around the pawnshop ever since he was a small child. Once he was finally old enough to work, Rick gave him a chance behind the shop counter.

Whether through the highly comfortable way they talk to one another, the constant pranks, or how he acts as an employee, it's clear why some fans may believe that Chumlee is a Harrison, but that just isn't the case. Nonetheless, no matter how much he has pushed Rick's buttons over the years, the shop owner has never had it in his heart to fire Chumlee.

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The lovable counter helper began his time at the pawnshop when he was only 21 years old. Five years later, in 2009, the first season of Pawn Stars was filmed and Chumlee quickly became a fan favorite.

chumlee pawn stars
Source: Getty
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Chumlee hasn't always had it easy; he's faced plenty of legal trouble in the past.

Although presenting himself as the lovable and friendly face of the pawnshop, Chumlee isn't without his shortcomings. The star was arrested in 2016 after a home raid in connection with sexual assault allegations led officers to find firearms, crystal meth, Xanax, marijuana, and traces of cocaine on his property. He was later released on a $62,000 bail, only to be charged with 20 felony counts two months later, including unlawful possession of a firearm. 

Chumlee had to endure three years of probation, a term that didn't end until 2019. The charges with regard to his alleged connection to a sexual assault were dropped, and despite some online rumors, he was welcomed back to the Pawn Stars cast shortly after his legal issues were cleared up.

Episodes of Pawn Stars air Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on the History Channel.

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