It looks like another battle is in the books for Stan Lee. After a series of concerning events, the beloved comic creator is said to be lawyering up against his former production company for a hefty sum.
According to a new report by TMZ, Lee is suiting POW! Entertainment and its current executives for a staggering $1 billion. The lawsuit alleges that CEO Shane Duffy and Gill Champion swindled an ailing, bereaved Lee into parting with his name. The writer claims the duo tricked him into signing the legal papers which gave away the exclusive rights to his name, image, and likeness. And, at worst, the lawsuit claims Duffy and Champion may have simply forged Lee’s signature.
For those of you confused, a bit of backstory may be needed. Back in 2017, POW! Entertainment was sold to a Chinese company known as Camsing. However, the ordeal went down while Lee says he was in poor health and coping with vision loss due to macular degeneration. On top of that, the sale coincided with the death of his wife Joan, an event that left Lee in mourning.
As the lawsuit claims, Lee had no idea what the terms of the sale were due to his dwindling condition. POW! Entertainment needed to get permission from Lee to use his name, but Lee says he would have never done such a thing. In fact, the lawsuit calls the writer’s name his “most important and prized possession” that he would never sign over. It even points out that Lee even refused to give Disney the rights to his name years ago when the entertainment company struck a deal with the Marvel honcho.
Right now, Lee is suing POW! Entertainment and its higher-ups for a billion dollars, but that isn’t all. The legend is looking to get the rights to his name, likeness, and image back as well.
Sadly, this update is just one of many strange occurrences Lee has experienced over the last year. Following the death of his wife, Lee has been robbed and faced accusations of sexual assault. Other reports have claimed the legend has become a victim of elder abuse, and Lee’s firing of his longtime business manager ended with the writer suing Jerardo Olivarez for a few million dollars. That suit claims Olivarez coordinated plans with several other outsiders and stole more than $300,000 from Lee before illegally buying real estate under his name.
Now, Lee is planning to go to court again, and this time is it to free himself from the binds of a contract he claims to have not known about. Earlier today, the legend made a plea online saying his Facebook and Instagram have already been hacked by impersonators. Lee's Twitter went on to say he is putting his faith in fans and hopes they will defend him from these frauds acting under his name.
"From now on, I will depend on you, my dear fans, to protect and defend me. I love you guys and am so happy I have control of my twitter account back. You guys are my true superheros," Lee's account wrote.
With fans at his side, Lee will hopefully have the strength to fight forward and parse through the situation he's found himself trudging though. You can keep checking back with ComicBook for the future latest updates on Lee and his legal situation.
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Avengers: Infinity War is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universemovies include Ant-Man and the Wasp on July 6th, Captain Marvel opens on March 8, 2019, the fourth Avengers movie on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.