stan lee

Stan Lee Files Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against Company He Co-Founded

The Saga of the Embattled Creator Continues
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The tragic saga of Stan Lee continues as the embattled Grandfather of Geekdom finds himself entangled in yet another lawsuit. The Marvel Comics icon has experienced an increasingly bizarre series of events: first there were allegations of sexual misconduct with the nurses hired to care for the 95 year old creator. Then, accusations surfaced against Lee’s only daughter Joan Celia, aka J.C., who was accused of elder abuse and the exploitation of Lee and his wife Joan, who died last year.

Just last month, Lee filed a lawsuit against his former business manager, Jerardo Olivarez for fraud and elder abuse, claiming that Olivarez tricked Lee into signing over his power of attorney. Lee accused Olivarez of slanderous and misleading statements against his daughter J.C., and in a macabre development, of extracting and selling Lee’s blood for profit.

Now, Lee is filing a $1 billion lawsuit against Pow! Entertainment, the company he co-founded. According to the lawsuit, Pow! Entertainment CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion “conspired and agreed to broker a sham deal to sell POW! to a company in China and fraudulently steal Stan Lee’s identity, name, image, and likeness as part of a nefarious scheme to benefit financially at Lee’s expense.” Lee claims he had entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Pow! and was furious when the company was sold to Hong Kong-based Camsing International last year.

The complaint also alleges that Duffy, Champion and Olivarez took advantage of Lee’s grief over the death of his wife of 70 years, as well as his ailing health and poor eyesight due to macular degeneration to exploit him. Pow! Entertainment responded to the accusations, saying “The allegations are completely without merit. The notion that Mr. Lee did not knowingly grant POW! exclusive rights to his creative works or his identity is so preposterous that we have to wonder whether Mr. Lee is personally behind this lawsuit. There is no question Mr. Lee — who, along with his daughter, was and remains a substantial POW! shareholder — clearly understood the terms of the agreements he signed. The evidence, which includes Mr. Lee’s subsequent statements and conduct, is overwhelming and we look forward to presenting it in court.”

Lee also claimed that his social media presence was hijacked, and tweeted a cry for help to regain his various accounts. Hopefully Lee will get the help he needs from concerned parties he can trust. As it stands, this is a sad, strange bookend to Stan Lee’s storied life and career.

(via CNN, image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.