Earlier this year, reports said Stan Lee was having troubles with elder abuse. Now, word has it that Lee is suing POW! Entertainment, a company he co-found, for upwards of a billion dollars.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lee is suing POW! for getting him to sign a document that gives Hong Kong-based company Camsing International exclusive rights to Lee’s name, identity, image, and likenes. Lee’s lawyer Adam Grant wrote in the complaint:
“Lee does not recall anyone reading the Illegitimate Document to him, and, due to his advanced macular degeneration, he could not have read it himself… While the Illegitimate Document purports to contain Lee’s signature, Lee never knowingly signed it. Either Duffy, Champion, Oliveraz [sic] or POW! (1) forged Lee’s signatures; (2) lifted Lee’s signature from another document and imposed it on the Illegitimate Document; or, (3) someone, likely one of the Defendants, induced Lee to sign the Illegitimate Document by using a bait and switch tactic: telling Lee it was something else.”
There are also claims that POW! took control of Lee’s social media accounts and has been impersonating him online:
Help! Someone has hijacked my Facebook and Instagram. I want everyone to know whoever is writing them is a fraud and is impersonating me. How do I get them back? Can you guys help?
— Stan Lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 15, 2018
However, according to a represntative of POW!, Lee’s allegations were ridiculous. The company reiterates that Lee was very well aware of the deal. They write:
“The allegations are completely without merit. In particular, 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.”
It is worth noting that the acquisition of POW! Entertainment by Camsing was said to have occurred in 2017. That’s the same time Lee’s wife Joan was on her deathbed. Lee also has to deal with some macular degeneration which has rendered him legally blind since 2015. Lee’s had so much trouble these past few years.
We don’t know how this will all turn out. There are so many things going on in Lee’s life right now. But, with all the news that’s come out, the entire fanbase has been worried about the well-being of Marvel’s favorite mascot. It’s hard not to be concerned about the Marvel legend.