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What happened to Billy the Exterminator?



Most people would get squeamish about anything that had to do with cockroaches and rodents, but not so the millions of viewers of A&E Network’s “Billy the Exterminator.” The reality television series followed the pest control operator, William “Billy” Bretherton, as he and his company responded to calls for help in ridding a place of pests or wild animals. It premiered on 4 February 2009 and ran for seven seasons.

Billy was born in 1968. Growing up, he wanted to become a cop or work for the FBI or CIA, so he joined the US Air Force and completed basic training at the age of 18. However, after taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) developed by the Department of Defense, his test results showed that he had a natural aptitude for biology, but contrary to his expectation, his drill instructor told him that he’s going to be a ‘bug squisher.’ He couldn’t believe it, and thought ‘Oh my god, I joined the Air Force to swish bugs. I could have stayed in the real world to do that.’

He called up his parents, crying as he informed them of this development in his career. Billy was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, and his first job was to get the wild coyotes off the runway. He took this seriously, as his superior told him that it would be his fault if a $30 million jet was wrecked because of a wild animal. He quickly learned a lot, and did well during his stint in the military, but realized that he was ‘too free of a spirit’ to stay, and subsequently left the service as a senior airman.

He became a certified entomologist, and has been working as an exterminator since 1987. His mom, Donnie Bretherton, recalled an incident that she believed might have set him on this career path. She said that when Billy was a kid, he was stung by fire ants as they had got inside the cowboy boots he was wearing; it was so bad that he ended up losing his toenails.

The family had been living in New Jersey. When his dad, nicknamed “Big Bill” retired, he invested his retirement money in his sons, Billy and Ricky, and in 1996, they established the Vexcon Animal and Pest Control Company in Louisiana, living in the small town of Benton.


Vexcon, according to Billy, means the study of annoying, pestilent things, and called it the biblical plague that was happening every day. The company’s religious philosophy was to gather information and looked into its spiritual significance to help them with their ‘battles.’

Billy said that there were many pest control companies in Northwest Louisiana, and they called each one and asked them to send any ‘undesirable work’ that the people in the company wouldn’t do. At that time, they were the only ones in Louisiana that could handle all kinds of animal elimination, extraction or removal, from bed bugs to alligators. They drew media attention, and were featured in the local news. Billy became the President of the Northwest Louisiana Pest Control Association in 1997.

Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs”

Producers found their footage online, and became interested in the Bretherton family and what they did for a living. The Pilgrim Media Group contacted them in 2004, about filming a pilot episode for a show about pest control, that they were pitching to Discovery Channel.

They were chosen out of 200 companies after being followed for a day as they went about doing their job, and the next thing they knew, they were featured in the network’s reality TV series called “Dirty Jobs”, gaining national exposure. It showcased occupations that were particularly strange, disgusting, or difficult, and the host, Mike Rowe, would tag along with the workers to learn about the job and work with them. Billy along with his brother Ricky, fiancée Mary, and a cousin first appeared in season one during the “Vexcon” episode, which was aired on 23 August 2005. His team went to a house in Shreveport to deal with a problem with rodents. Billy said, ‘it was running at .8 or .9 in the ratings and then it spiked to 1.72 as soon as we came on.’ Due to the viewer interest in them, they also appeared in season two during the “Termite Controller” episode, aired on 21 March 2006.

“Billy the Exterminator”

The A&E show was originally called “The Exterminators” before it was changed to “Billy the Exterminator” during its second season.

Billy easily became a fan favorite, with his rock-n-roll and Goth ensemble and mullet hair. It wasn’t a costume, just what he wore on a daily basis since he became a fan of heavy metal, and enjoyed listening to the English rock band, Black Sabbath, and the Finnish gothic rock band, HIM. Incidentally, this all-black get-up with the skull-and-crossbones logo of the company became the working uniform of their employees with the exception of some of those in the office. When Billy was dealing with bees, he would don a long coat made of leather, a mask, and a feather boa for protection.

People who knew him from “Dirty Jobs” said nothing had changed in his personal style except for his hair. Apparently, his mom wanted him ‘to dress real nice’, such as in polo shirts and khaki pants instead of their uniform when he appeared in “Dirty Jobs”, but his only concession back then was cutting his hair short. As for his sunglasses, he wore them because he was bothered by the hot lights that were constantly on him while filming.

Aside from Billy, members of his family were cast in the show, as they also worked in the company, so there was a bit of family drama.


Ricky lived in Leesville and manned the satellite branch of Vexcon. He would only go to the main office during filming for the show so this was when things would become difficult, because one of the family issues they were having involved Ricky’s ex-wife, Pam. According to Donnie, the couple divorced but when Vexcon started doing well, Pam reconnected with Ricky and they reconciled, and she became part of the company as she did the books for them. There was always tension whenever Pam was at the office, as it was clear that Donnie and Billy didn’t want her there; she was also the cause of arguments between the brothers, so unsurprisingly, she didn’t make it past season one. Billy didn’t want to talk about Pam in public, and hearing about people discussing them drove him crazy.

Apparently Billy is perfect for television, as he has thick skin. ‘I’ll believe in my philosophies ‘til my dying breath. I know who I am, and comments and negative energy…I just surf right through it,’ he said. His wife left the show as well after season one, and it created controversy for a while as fans speculated on the real reason for it. Some people believed that Billy and Mary would file for a divorce; he’s not really keen on sharing details about his personal life, but Billy did say that Mary chose to leave because she was uncomfortable in front of the camera.

With the women except for Billy’s mom out of the picture, the show started to veer away from family drama, and became more focused on the work itself.

Each episode normally began with Billy talking about the pest that he would be handling followed by a visit to the client’s place to assess the extent of the problem, and then kill or set traps to eradicate the critters that were causing havoc. Some of those he caught were released in another area. He revealed that he had been bitten and stung by everything he encountered on the job, and what made his work more difficult was the situation in which he had to capture the animal, such as in the case of having just a small clearance to extricate an 18-foot python from under a house, or crawl inside a two-foot culvert to pull a 12-foot alligator out of it. During a promo tour for A&E, he was asked to remove two cobras, one of which was 16 to 17 feet long from a tiny kitchen which he flatly refused to do, as even its handler had been bitten in the stomach, and nearly died. However, he wasn’t averse to dealing with a rattlesnake.


During the first three seasons he mostly worked in Louisiana, but for the succeeding seasons he also went to other places in the US, including Alabama, Illinois, and Texas, assisting local wildlife rescue services and exterminators in dealing with various infestations and vermin.

On being famous

Billy had difficulty adjusting to being recognized, and then mobbed by fans. He said that he didn’t like large crowds, and even avoided going to ball games as he was always thinking, ‘If a riot broke out, I’m trapped.’ However, he didn’t mind meeting his fans, as he attended meet-and-greet events in which he signed autographs and posed to have his picture taken with them. He didn’t take all this to mean he had achieved fame, because he had his own standard for that – ‘I won’t feel famous until I’m spoofed by “South Park.” Until that happens, I’m not famous.’

Show cancellation

After six seasons, the show was canceled and the only explanation given was that Billy was dealing with some personal issues, left the company and moved to Illinois. However, things became clearer when news came out about his arrest.

According to reports, a 911 hang-up call was made from a room at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Bossier City in April 2012, and police were dispatched. Billy and Mary couple were charged with a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, which was synthetic marijuana, and drug paraphernalia; each posted bail at $6,000. When the police contacted them about the arrest warrants that were issued in June, the two turned themselves in. They entered a plea deal, with the prosecutors dropping both charges against Mary and the drug paraphernalia citation against Billy. He was sentenced to a 60-day jail term, suspended, and was instead fined $500 and put on probation for a year. He also agreed to undergo rehab for substance abuse.

It was not the first time that a member of the Bretherton family was arrested. Back in 2010, Ricky was stopped by a narcotics unit from the Leesville Police Department for a traffic violation.  He and his passenger, a woman named Kimberly Wallis, were arrested after the agent discovered what was suspected to be marijuana in a container, and drug paraphernalia. While Kimberly was charged with simple possession, Ricky was charged with felony possession.

The judge set his bail at around $4,000 and he was released on his own recognizance. Ricky pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and apparently paid a fine of $500, as well as court costs.

What happened to Billy and the show

Billy went back on television, appearing in “Billy Goes North” produced by Corus Entertainment, premiered in September 2016 on the CMT cable channel in Canada. The concept was also about pest control, as he dealt with Canada’s wildlife and pests. It went to air in the US in April 2017 as the seventh season of “Billy the Exterminator,” unfortunately, it wasn’t renewed for another season.

He later joined his brother in 2020, in the second season of the web series called “Vexcon the Exterminators” on YouTube. Ricky had started vlogging in October 2015, and uploaded videos of his work as a pest control operator. Their parents and the women in their lives weren’t featured in the series. The YouTube account only garnered some 6,000 subscribers, and the videos just more than 300,000 views.


Billy’s popularity might have waned over the years from his absence on the small screen, but he still had many loyal fans who were excited to see him doing what he does best. According to their company website, since Donnie and Big Bill retired, the responsibility of running the business went to Ricky, and was also in now his name. Billy returned to work as an exterminator with Bryce his son one of the technicians. Aside from the services they were offering, they also sold signed Vexcon merchandise, including T-shirts, ball caps, bandanas, and stickers.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bretherton brothers along with Bryce found ways to entertain themselves without breaking social distancing protocols, such as going on a ghost hunting adventure. Billy shared in his October 2020 Instagram post that he’d formed a chakra metal band called V3X3D, together with Bryce and Ricky, and talked about writing the lyrics and music for their songs. The band’s Instagram posts seemed to indicate that they subscribed to the QAnon movement, if one would base it on the word, “QAnon,” that was present on most of the photos.

Based on Bryce’s Instagram posts, his parents divorced and his mom remarried; it’s presumed that his mom, unnamed, was Billy’s first wife, as he’s still married to Mary. It seemed that there was no animosity between his parents, as they were both around during special occasions such as his birthday celebrations. He greeted three men in his life during Father’s Day in 2020 – he was grateful for his stepfather, Kevin, who has been a strong presence in his life, for teaching him to have manners and be a man. His uncle Ricky has been teaching him about himself. His father taught him how to express himself, and to remember that ‘there’s always more to stuff than meets the eye.’ Bryce also spends time with his grandparents, Big Bill and Donnie. He turned 21 in May 2021 and he’s currently living with his girlfriend named Cella.

Billy shared in The Morning Dish podcast with Steven Phillips in 2021 that his wife, Mary, has been sick and bedridden for around five years and that he took care of her rehabilitation. She has been doing much better now. He also said that he’s got a feeling that he would soon be back on TV, but divulged no further details.

As the Editorial Director at Net Worth Post, I steer a skilled ensemble dedicated to producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output. At Net Worth Post, our goal is to furnish our audience with thorough portraits that shed light on the inner workings of industries such as finance, entertainment, and more. By employing detailed investigation techniques coupled with enthralling storytelling, we illuminate the extraordinary paths and achievements of those who lead and innovate. Our work aims not just to inform but to enchant and motivate our readers by sharing the personal and professional odysseys of individuals who shape our society.

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The Untold Truth About Expedition Unknown



Although stories about previously unknown, ancient treasures and unveiled mysteries are usually seen as fictional fantasies, those same topics are exactly what makes “Expedition Unknown” so endearing. While the show takes us to the most fantastic and historically meaningful places around the world, what has really been keeping us engrossed with it for years it’s discovering the biggest secrets history has in store for us, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible.

“Expedition Unknown”s premise is very unique and so are the show’s settings, format and approach to topics. However, knowing how well produced and planned it is, it makes us wonder about things we aren’t able to see on-screen.

For this we have prepared a list of the less known facts about the show, including interesting bits about its host Josh Gates, his crew and what they’ve discovered so far. This is the unknown truth about “Expedition Unknown“.

Josh Has An Impressive Career

Just in case you have missed it, Josh Gates has an impressive career both in and outside the entertainment industry. A native of Massachusetts and born into a British-American family, Josh graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Archeology and Drama.

Although the fields are an uncommon combination, his professional background has allowed him to incorporate both. His debut on TV happened back in 2002, when he made short appearances in the ESPN’s game show “Beg, Borrow & Deal” and other TV productions. His big time finally came in 2007 with “Ghost Hunters” and “Destination Truth”, which became Syfy’s most watched show for a while.

While his career as an actor is less well-known, it’s not non-existent either, having played roles in low-budget movies such as “Party Foul” in 2003, and “Hard Cell” in 2007.


Josh has also been involved with the production of many of the series he’s hosted, including “Stranded” and “Legendary Locations”.

Though Josh’s background as an archaeologist has allowed him to develop the proper experience to be his show’s investigator, his involvement with paranormal-related and myth-hunter shows make him a very multi-faceted TV personality as well.

Filming Takes A Long Time

As expected, when it comes to a show so well planned and shot on location like “Expedition Unknown” is, filming could take unexpectedly long periods of hard work.

As it happens, in “Expedition Unknown” we’re used to seeing Josh and his experts travel around the world. Though that would be genuinely enjoyable for almost everyone, transporting the camera crew and production staff to those places usually takes weeks or even months of preparation, besides the normal time filming takes.

All in all, it’s said that to produce every season of “Expedition Unknown”, the crew take 200 days a year, out of which hundreds of hours are spent in airplanes and other transport, as Josh affirms.

The Most Dangerous Place

For those who are used to seeing Josh Gates shenanigans in the show, it’s hard to think of naming only one place as the most life-endangering.

However, Josh’s closest call was definitely in Myanmar. It happened back in 2015, when he and his crew were filming the episode “Curse Of The Golden Bell” in the search for an ancient and lost artifact which took him to the depths of the Yangon River. While Josh is a professional scuba diver, he didn’t consider the difficulties that entailed swimming in such muddy waters.

The lack of visibility caused by the heavy pollution and strong currents made his mission to find King Dhammazedi’s Great Bell impossible.

As he affirms, diving there was like ‘working with a blindfold on, feeling around underwater’ and despite his initial enthusiasm, the conditions were not only just too dangerous, but actually the worst he’d ever experienced.

All in all, desisting from it was a good idea, especially considering how many people have actually died in the Yangon River while looking for the Great Bell.

Unexpected News While Filming

It’s nothing out of the normal for TV casts to be in contact with their families while filming, especially for shows like “Expedition Unknown”, in which the crews have to spend long periods traveling and away from their loved ones.

As it comes, Josh Gates was given one of the best news items of his life while filming the show. It was back in season two, when Josh and his crew were in Portugal filming the episode “Secrets of Christopher Columbus”, as he was phoned by his wife to tell him they were having a baby.


The exact moment in which an overly excited and emotional Josh informs people around him that he was going to become a dad for the first time, was filmed and included in the episode.

Later in season four, again while on the road with the “Expedition Unknown”s crew, Josh was informed that he was going to become a father for a second time; he wasn’t filmed, we can clearly imagine his reaction.

Humor Doesn’t Always Go As It Should

Despite being an investigation-centered show, “Expedition Unknown” always has a little touch of humor to make everything lighter.

However, despite how entertaining and light-hearted Josh Gates’ jokes are to us, he affirms that being funny isn’t his strongest skill. According to him, his attempt at humor ‘falls flat all the time’, but it’s admittedly his way of not only keeping the audience’s attention, but to make the work environment easier to endure during situations hard to deal with.

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A post shared by Josh Gates (@gatesygram)

Despite the extensive planning the show’s staff does, things in “Expedition Unknown” don’t always go as they should while filming, so joking and trying to lift everyone’s spirits on set is considered important in Josh’s perspective. That positive approach is probably appreciated by his fellow co-workers, and the audience surely enjoys seeing  and hearing it.

Food Is Not Always Safe To Consume

For a show such as “Expedition Unknown”, unexpected problems related to environmental factors occur quite often. As is obvious, the crew usually deals with problems just fine, but there are times in which things get so out of hand that it could endanger the cast’s wellbeing.

The latter situation happened during the fourth season, when the crew was in Ecuador filming “Hunt for the Metal Library”, and had to spend a long time enclosed in a cave. While the crew was prepared beforehand to successfully face the conditions of said environment, having to eat in a place where there were many animals had its consequences.

This resulted in three members of the show’s crew falling sick for consuming bat’s excrement that somehow had fallen on their food. While their health’s condition didn’t worsen and their sickness was actually not as serious as it sounds, it’s enough to give us an idea of how far the show goes to keep the cameras rolling.

Josh Married A Co-Star

As should be obvious, Josh Gates’ work schedule has been very hectic since he made his TV debut. Knowing he spends a significant part of his life on set, it’s understandable that he ended up meeting his significant other half there as well.

As it happened, Josh and his then wife-to-be Hallie Gnatovich met on the set of his formerly-hosted show “Destination Truth”, for which she worked as an off-camera researcher. Though details about their relationship are unknown, in 2014 they tied the knot, and have since welcomed two children together.


Despite Josh’s celebrity status, he and Hallie have carefully kept their children’s privacy, by not revealing their names or faces to the public. Regardless of their choice maintaining their private, their relationship always looked blissful from the outside, that is until Hallie announced in August 2021 that she and Josh had been separated for ‘a year and half’. In her words, their divorce had been officialized just a couple of months before, and both of them were still trying to figure out their shared parenthood and separate lives.

Josh Gates Famous Necklace

One never gets surprised enough when it comes to celebrities and things their fans do for them. Although Josh Gates’ personality is pretty much on the humble and chill side, some of the weirdest aspects of being famous is the fact that his necklace, which he usually wears in the show, has become quite popular as well.

If you don’t believe us, you only have to look up “Josh Gates Necklace” on Facebook, and see it for yourself. As it turns out, the page is very active and usually updates “Expedition Unknown” fans on Josh’s shenanigans.

While the aforementioned accessory has been described as ‘not magical’ by Josh, seeing that its page has over 3,000 fans and keeps growing, it makes us question if his words are actually untrue.

How Topics Are Selected

Seeing that “Expedition Unknown”s main premise is that of pursuing and unveiling ancient mysteries, it’s only expected that a lot of research takes place prior to letting its crew adventure into often unknown territory.

There are certain aspects which play a big role while choosing what and where the show’s crew is going to explore. While every myth could be interesting enough to be considered, what catches the show’s research team’s attention is if the stories indeed have substance, or as Josh describes it, if they have ‘meat on the bone’.

With the help of international archaeologists and experts in other fields, Josh and his crew follow the leads that actually lead to something instead of simply being completely unproven.

Besides the obvious pre-research that they go through, logistics and resources are factors not to be left aside. However, according to Josh, he and the show’s crew go on their adventures without knowing a great deal about what is going to happen in the end, which obviously makes the whole deal more interesting for both them and the audience.

What Josh Has To Say About William Shatner

Throughout the years, “Expedition Unknown” has surely given us many memorable moments. Out of those, one of the most interesting was shown in the series’ spin-off, “Shark Trek”, featuring William Shatner.


Of course, this sort of tribute to “Star Trek” was unexpected considering the show’s usual concept. Despite that, the challenges encountered by Josh Gates’ crew along the way turned out as an extraordinary experience for everyone.

However, if there’s something that stuck in our heads it was how easily William adapted to the show. It wasn’t only us who noticed it though, as Josh admitted himself that besides being an amazing co-star, William’s genuine interest made everything more enjoyable.

According to Josh, what made William’s a memorable partner was definitely his willingness to ‘tackle and understand’ his fear, in order to ultimately conquer it. Those are qualities which surely an expedition expert such as Josh appreciates a lot, and will make us remember the special show with a smile for a long time.

The Reason They Went On Exploring Sharks

As entertaining as “Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek’ was, at first many people were surprised to find that the series would continue exploring sharks, which was an admittedly unusual topic for a series mostly focused on uncovering other types of mysteries.

While the reaction is understandable, there were actually good reasons for this objective. As Josh explained, more than just going on a trip looking for sharks, his main focus was to explore human’s fearful attitude towards the unknown. In his words, the common fear towards these animals is partially caused by the media’s influence, films such as “Jaws”, and prejudices based on their appearance. However, by examining these sea creatures, Josh wanted to not only understand them, but to debunk the many misconceptions surrounding the species.

Needless to say, Josh’s intentions with the show are well appreciated by the audience, and surely by environmentalists as well.

The Reason It Has Many Spin-Offs

“Expedition Unknown” has spawned several spin-off mini-series over the years, including titles such as “Hunt For The Yeti” and “Egypt Live”, which makes us feel happy to see it becoming a successful franchise.

However, while these aforementioned series were meant to show specific expeditions made by the crew in a deeper way, for the last couple of years, long-running spin-offs “Josh Gates Tonight” and “Expedition X” have also been released.

The reasoning behind creating these series in this new format, is a matter of adapting to the several regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it difficult to produce “Expedition Unknown” in the same way we were used to.

Traveling and filming is also a big concern for the show’s production team for the same reason, but they’ve at least continued to produce content for the franchise until the situation improves. That’s a relief for fans, who still wait for “Expedition Unknown”s return to TV screens as it was previously.

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What happened to Christie Brimberry from Gas Monkey Garage?



For a time, fans of the reality-television series called “Fast N’Loud” were worried that one of its stars, Christie Brimberry, wouldn’t appear again in their favorite automotive restoration TV show. Due to health issues, she couldn’t perform her duties as the office manager of Richard Rawling’s Gas Monkey Garage, which was the focal point of the reality-TV series. She took a break from managing the business in 2016 to focus on getting healthy, with the blessing of everyone in the shop. Loyal fans were relieved when she was seen again in the 15th season of one of the most-watched car shows on Discovery Channel.

Christie’s Early Life and Family

Not much information about her family and early life was revealed to the public. All that was known about her was that she was born on 25 March 1972, in Dallas, Texas, because Christie was very careful about what she shared in her social media accounts and during interviews.

On her social media pages, she was proud to post that she had a good relationship with her parents, most especially her mother who passed away in 2015. She also shared some rare photos with her sister, and said that she was her ‘ride or die until the tires fall off’.

Christie has been married for many years to Darren Brimberry, a professional hairstylist with a hair salon in Dallas. She has six children, and some featured in her Instagram account, although some fans wondered why she has children of Afro-American descent. A fan complimented her for adopting them, but another said that she didn’t adopt any of them, but without offering any other information; much speculation formed but she never addressed the isue. Some of her children have graduated from college, and some are already married. When she posted a tribute to her mother during Mother’s Day in 2020, she mentioned that her old lady was about to be a great-grandmother soon.


From Gas Monkey Garage to “Fast N’Loud” reality-TV

The Gas Monkey Garage is a Dallas-based custom auto shop founded by Richard Rawlings. After seeing automotive shows on TV, he realized that there was a chunk of the untapped market that those TV shows hadn’t taken advantage of – he noticed that his wife and kids wouldn’t stay and watch an auto show with him. The businessman in him knew that he needed to have a garage first to get to that point of creating a TV show. It was like hitting two birds with one stone, since his passion was automotive restoration and customization, so he sold his printing and advertising business to open up a garage in Dallas. Christie was hired through her husband, Darren, who was Richard’s hairstylist.

For many years, he had been pitching the TV show concept to Discovery Channel, until the cable executives eventually accepted the idea and “Fast N’Loud,” was born.

Unlike other automotive shows on TV with overwhelming machismo, Richard toned it down and made it appealing to women and kids without turning off the male viewers. The premise of the TV series was that he would look for worn-down classic or vintage cars all over the country, and purchase them for his team to restore them at the garage. After the fabrication and restoration process, Richard would sell the vehicle at a higher price, creating a significant profit for the business.

All through this, Christie was responsible for assisting Richard in dealing with all the chaos and drama involving the various people in the team – even shouting at her boss – to make sure everyone stayed on course so that they could meet the deadline. The first episode aired in June 2012 and the final episode in June 2020, all in all 155 episodes over the course of 16 seasons, produced by Pilgrim Studios for Discovery Channel.

Meet Christie’s Co-Workers at Gas Monkey Garage

It might be Richard Rawlings who owned the garage, but it was his team of experienced professionals who were responsible for the actual restoration and customization of each car. He had the final say on the overall plan, such as choosing the car to be restored, the schedule, and approval of the budget for the proposed project, while Richard’s sister, Daphne Kaminski, worked as the Head of Operations.

The main mechanic and chief fabricator, Aaron Kaufman, was there almost from the start until he left the garage to open up his own fabrication shop in 2018, and subsequently starred in his own TV show also aired on Discovery Channel. He was with Richard for 14 years, but they maintained a friendship afterwards, as Richard respected him not only as a fabricator but also as a person. Christie even promoted and congratulated Aaron when he finally launched his own online shop.


The rest of the team was comprised of Tony Cano, Mike Coy, and Kennan Hons (Paint and Body Tech Team), Chad Isbell (Automotive Parts Expert), Russell Holmes (Mechanic), J. Cheatham and J. Freeman (Fabricators), Jon Rodriguez (Wiring Expert), and Jason Aker (Firebird expert),

The Real Reason Why Christie Left Gas Monkey Garage in 2016

Ignoring potential health problems was one of the reasons why Christie had to leave Gas Monkey Garage abruptly and indefinitely. It was revealed that back in October 2016, she went through life-threatening surgery to remove a cancerous lymph node from her thyroid. Initially, she didn’t want to share her experience with the public, as she was a very private person. However, she eventually thought it best to educate people about the importance of getting a medical examination when one’s body didn’t feel right.

Apparently, before August 2016 ended, she felt something like a small knot in her throat, but ignored it, thinking that it just had something to do with her Hashimoto condition, a disease that attacks the thyroid and creates nodules in the throat. When it became annoying and felt like having a finger shoved down her throat, Christie had it examined; she had an ultrasound, and when the doctor saw the size of the nodule, a biopsy followed. Somehow she knew deep inside that it could be something worse and dangerous, and 12 days later, her suspicions were confirmed. She had thyroid cancer and the only good thing about it was the doctor saying that it had only affected one lymph node, but it had to be treated right away because it was aggressive.

Christie was assured by her doctor that it would be an easy surgery, that the removal of the thyroid and the cancerous lymph node was done in one day, however, when they operated on her, it was discovered that cancer had spread and a cluster of lymph nodes was removed.

The doctor also had to remove a part of her trachea because it was affected as well. Unfortunately, during the process of removing all of it, the nerve in her voice box was cut, which resulted in her having no voice at all, and she was informed that the condition could last for about six months or so. Christie also had chemotherapy to help fully remove the cancerous cells from her body.

In November 2016, the tube that was inserted in her throat and the stitches were removed, however, the doctor identified that the left side of her voice box was still paralyzed, which made talking and swallowing difficult. Instead of the initial prognosis of six months, the doctor said it would take around eight months to a year before she regained her voice.

Christie went back for a follow-up after a month, and there was an improvement. She got her voice tone back, but she lost a lot of volume.


She was advised to stop taking her thyroid medication so that she could receive Radioactive Iodine treatment; this created an imbalance in her thyroid hormones, that left her emotionally drained, such that she would cry often, and had little control over her emotions. Being on a low iodine diet, which meant no bread, no dairy and no commercially processed food, made it even more unbearable.

However, after a year of non-stop treatment and a disciplined lifestyle, Christie was declared cancer-free by her doctor in December 2017. She posted on her official Facebook page, ‘I went through the last of my treatment last week, and had my one-year bone scan on Friday! The results came back today and I am CANCER FREE!!!’

Back on Gas Monkey Garage and “Fast N’Loud”

While Christie was never fired from Gas Monkey Garage, as Richard was very supportive of her, she wasn’t physically able to join the rest of the cast of “Fast N’Loud.”

She totally regretted that she wasn’t part of the filming of the Mannequin Challenge that Richard and the rest of the team did in December 2016, however, she made sure to be active on her social media platforms Instagram and Facebook to help promote the TV show. There was even a time when she went live while an episode was being aired, just to stay connected with the fans.

When the doctors cleared her to return to work, she was welcomed back in the garage. On 13 June 2018, Richard posted on his official Facebook page, a photo of him sitting behind his desk in his office at Gas Monkey Garage with Christie looking on while pointing out something on a ledger. It was business as usual, and he captioned it with ‘Working hard and havin’ fun’, while Christie posted the same photo with the caption, ‘I love my job.’ Fans were able to see her once again in the last two seasons of their reality-TV series.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Loyal fans were shocked that Richard announced during a guest appearance in the podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in December 2020, that the 16th season that was aired earlier that year was the last from his team. He didn’t renew his contract with Discovery Channel, saying that it had run its course. However, he assured the fans that he had many plans for Gas Monkey Garage on other media platforms.

True enough, Gas Monkey Garage has been continuously uploading videos on their official YouTube channel, which has over 800,000 subscribers. They also created a podcast called “Monkey Trap with Richard Rawlings”, with their Facebook page having close to five million followers. Recently, the Gas Monkey Garage online merchandise shop launched Richard Rawling’s Car Sweepstakes, in which anyone who purchased $1 worth of merchandise automatically received a raffle ticket for the vehicle giveaway. For instance, a $35-trucker hat would mean 35 raffle entries into the giveaway contest.

A federal-regulated sweepstakes agency was tasked to draw the winner each time the giveaway countdown ends.

Christie Brimberry net worth and financial difficulties

According to authoritative sources, Christie has an estimated net worth of $2 million, some earned from her participation in the reality-TV series and her involvement with the Gas Monkey Garage business. This assess thatment must be true before her battle with cancer, because in some of her social media posts, she shared that she had a hard time paying for the medical bills she incurred for her cancer treatment, saying the insurance coverage that she had wasn’t large enough to cover all the expenses. To alleviate some of the expenses, she marketed events and brands through paid sponsorship on her social media accounts, and was even accused of being a sellout through the comments she received. One time, she was fed up with them that she told everyone that it was her way of surviving, and if they didn’t approve, they could unfollow.


When “Fast N’Loud” ended its run, fans were worried that Christie lost another source of income. After a while, she announced that she’d opened up an account in While some of her fans were apprehensive about this, the move no longer surprised them and they suspected it was to be used for a secondary source of revenue. Most of the celebrities and regular folks joined this web content subscription service, so that they could earn money from subscribers. It was one of those social media platforms that allowed content creators to receive funding from their fans for exclusive pay-per-view photos or videos. It actually created an uproar over the Internet, as most of the content offered consisted of sexually explicit videos and photos.

When Christie posted a teaser showing a photo of her wearing an unbuttoned shirt revealing her cleavage down to her tummy, the fans expected racy content from her.

However, she clarified many rumors that went around after her OnlyFans announcement, debunking what most of the fans thought was her reason for joining, saying that it wasn’t for financial reasons because she wasn’t broke. She also said that she wasn’t getting a divorce, that the OnlyFans idea came from her husband. Christie said she was just happy and that the timing was perfect as she was in a place where she’s most comfortable with her skin. Not everyone believed her because of her previous posts about her problems with finances due to her surgery and all that came with it. For $24, a subscriber could access the 165 digital media she posted about herself for three months on her OnlyFans account, however, the controversial crowd-sourcing site announced that it would prohibit account users from uploading explicit images and videos, as of October 2021.

Her profile on her official OnlyFans account showed ‘I used to be that girl from that show but now I’m the girl from that website! No porn, I’m not a porn star.’ However, her sexy photos in which her nipples were in full view were leaked to the public, even if there was a warning on her page that said, ‘Any images/videos re-uploaded elsewhere online will be sent a DMCA from my lawyer, and legal ramifications will be enforced.’ Some of her subscribers said it was like Christie posted for racy magazines such as Playboy or Penthouse.

“Fast N’Loud” fans were wondering if she’s still connected with Gas Monkey Garage, because based on her Instagram and Facebook accounts, she hasn’t posted anything about them in 2021. The pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus has surely created problems for all types of businesses all over the world, and it would not be impossible at all if the auto shop undertook some reorganization of its staff and crew.

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