Mikey Teutul Accused of Plagiarising Photographer’s Work

April 18, 2024
5 mins read

Michael Joseph ‘Mikey’ Teutul is an American reality television personality, best known as the youngest son of Paul Teutul Sr, as well as a fellow cast member and star from the popular reality shows “American Chopper”, and “American Chopper: Senior vs Junior”.

Initially, Mikey joined the cast of “American Chopper” as an assistant general manager, and although he only worked with the custom motorcycle builds and projects undertaken by his father and brother on occasion, Mikey nonetheless became a permanent feature on the show.

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His tasks included managing the workshop’s admin and often taking out the trash, and while that sounds uninteresting, his role on the show tended to provide comic relief to the viewers. As such, Mikey gained the admiration of many followers, who all fell in favour of his practical jokes and sharp sense of humour.

However, in 2009, Mikey abandoned the family business, citing disputes with his father as the reason, who in turn fired him from his position at the workshop.

Towards the end, and throughout the series, Mikey acted as a mediator between Paul Sr and Paul Jr, who would often dispute on creative differences, but it seemed clear that the family’s constant bickering eventually took its toll on Mikey, who threw in the towel and went ahead to pursue his own interests later in life.


While Mikey provided a lot of relief on the “American Chopper” series and its spin-offs, he, much like his father, earned a reputation for mischief and shenanigans, especially in the eyes of the public. Aside from overcoming an alcohol addiction, Mikey also provoked numerous lawsuits against him, as he ended up in court on several occasions.

Some of the cases against him involved his dad’s workshop, known as “Orange County Choppers”, but also includes a few unambiguous cases related to his private work after leaving the family business. One such case was claims of plagiarism filed against him by a photographer, which will be closely discussed among some of his other scandals.


Who Is Mikey Teutul?

Born on 26 November 1978, Mikey is the youngest Teutul sibling, son of Paul and Paula Tuetul, and his older brothers include Paul Jr, the former co-owner of Orange County Choppers, and Daniel Teutul, the owner, and manager of Orange County Ironworks LLC.

Mikey was born in Newburgh, New York State, but little to no information is available about his early life, but it’s known that he started working for his brother, Daniel, and the family-owned Orange County Ironworks at the age of 14.

Following his early introduction to the family business, Mikey began working at his father’s motorcycle customising workshop, and although he at first performed mundane tasks around the office, he eventually headed a great deal of Orange County Choppers’ promotional work.


On behalf of both the workshop and the reality series based on the shop’s daily ins and outs, Mikey appeared in several talk shows, which included “Late Show With David Letterman”, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno”, and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”.

Mikey also made appearances at several motorcycle shows to promote Orange County Choppers, and for some time was in control of selling “American Choppers” merchandise.

Aside from mostly providing comic relief and managing promotions, Mikey also worked on some custom jobs, though it was on rare occasions, and at one point he worked on one of his own custom designs. All his hard work paid off – according to some sources, he’s worth roughly $3 million.


Following his departure from “American Choppers” and stepping away from the family business, Mikey started working on a number of private, personal endeavours. One of his projects included the sales and fabrication of gourmet barbecue and pasta sauces, sold and promoted under the guise of the parent company “FarQueue Products LLC”, which he began in 2011.

Around the same time, Mikey returned to television in support of his brother, Paul Jr, and worked in his  company, Paul Teutul Designs, competing directly with their father, Paul Sr.

Other than spending time in front of the camera promoting the family businesses, or practising his skeet shooting skills, Mikey is also an avid artist; more specifically, Mikey enjoys painting, and in 2011 he opened his own art studio and gallery, namely Mikey Teutul’s Wolfgang Gallery, but it closed down in 2013 due to declining sales.

Other than the usual, and commonly known professional history of Mikey, he also spent some time as an avid YouTuber, publishing interesting content which includes talented musical performances, some of his artistic works, and several comedy skits.

Unfortunately, as of 2018, the channel grew quiet and Mikey hasn’t uploaded much since, but the available content might still provide fans with fair entertainment, especially if they’re interested in a different side of the reality television star.


Mikey’s Controversial Life

While the Teutul family is notoriously well known for being highly controversial, especially Paul Sr who had been involved in financial fraud, anabolic steroid scandals, and a number of legal disputes, Mikey’s past is nothing different.

In 2009, after briefly disappearing from “American Chopper”, it was revealed that Mikey struggled with a hereditary addiction to alcohol, with which Paul Sr also struggled. Even though Mikey sorted out his problem following a long time in rehab, his father nonetheless took negatively to Mikey’s habit. According to Senior, this was the reason why Mikey left the show, and for quite some time the family became estranged from each other, but thankfully eventually made up, and Mikey now has a much better relationship with Senior.

In 2019, a photographer by the name of Scott Gunnels filed a lawsuit against both Mikey and Paul Sr, claiming that they used his photographs out of context of how they agreed to use them, and in addition failed to compensate him for his work.

One of Gunnel’s photographs ended up on numerous “American Choppers” merchandise, and Mikey was also accused of using Scott’s photographs as part of promotional work. According to certain claims, the promotional content in question ended up on social media, and was in some way linked to the launch of Mikey’s art gallery.


Scott’s case against the Teutuls reached the court, and a judge eventually ruled in Gunnels’ favour, awarding him a large sum in fines as compensation for his plagiarised art.

Unfortunately, the complete total of money awarded in favour of Gunnel was never made public, but some gossip publications reported that Paul Sr had to pay almost $300,000.

It was never determined if the mentioned amount might only be the half Paul Sr had to cough up, and if Mikey also had to chip in. Still, it’s widely known that the Teutuls lost the case against them.

This same case and the amount paid by Paul Sr, later formed part of Senior’s bankruptcy application, as he used his owed amount to attempt a default on all of his loans, lawsuits, and debts.

As far as most of us know, that’s the only real case of plagiarism that was filed against Mikey, and it’s assumed by his fans that he learned his lesson. Only time will tell if that’s true, though.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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