Anti-elder abuse advocate Kerri Kasem, daughter of legendary Scooby-Doo voice actor and American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, has detailed the warning signs of elder abuse that could be affecting famed Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee.
"In the last year of my father's life, his wife [Jean Kasem] isolated him, keeping him away from us kids, all family members, his own brother, co-workers, friends — nobody could get a hold of him," Kasem told USA Today.
"We called the police and they couldn't help us, and we called Adult Protective Services, and they couldn't help us, why? There are no laws allowing adult children to see their ailing parents in this country. Soon as you turn 18, you have no rights to see your parents — unless of course you have the Kasem Cares Visitation Bill in your state — and I've been working for the last five years on changing the laws in this country so that adult children have rights to see their parents."
The Kasem Cares Visitation Bill, signed into law in 2017, allows a child to petition a court for visitation of their parent without going through a lengthy trial. Per the official website, the bill has been passed in 12 states, including California, where Lee resides.
"So in Stan Lee's case, when I read about the isolation, that was a major red flag," Kasem continued.
"I don't know him, I don't know any of the characters involved, but I'll tell you, the person isolating, look at them. Look at them, investigate them. His daughter [J.C. Lee] — I've read conflicting reports, 'Maybe she's the one, we don't know who it is, it could be this [Lee's former manager] Keya Morgan' - all I know is that when you have somebody, even if you have a contentious relationship, when you have siblings, or you have a daughter, and they want to see their parents, it's because they love them."
"So I'm just hoping those reports are not true," she added. "I know she loves her dad and I just hope she's not involved with some bad characters that are taking advantage."
Reports that Lee had fallen victim to elder abuse surfaced in April, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing documents detailing a strife Lee had with his daughter, J.C., who in the legal declaration was claimed to be improperly influenced by three men with "bad intentions": Jerardo 'Jerry' Olivarez, J.C.'s attorney, Kirk Schenck, and Keya Morgan, who was Lee's manager and handler until Lee filed a restraining order against him earlier in June.
Documents related to the restraining order said Morgan put Lee's personal well-being at risk by isolating him from loved ones by way of "undue influence," and Morgan had gone so far as to allegedly fabricate a pair of 911 calls — including one that claimed burglars had infiltrated Lee's home and locked its inhabitants out. Morgan was arrested June 12.
Lee's split from Morgan comes after months of alarming reports surrounding the iconic Spider-Man and Avengers co-creator, including accusations of sexual misconduct, massive amounts of Lee's stolen money being used to purchase a Hollywood condo, and reports that Lee's stolen blood was being used to sign Black Panther comic books.
Fans had expressed concern for Lee after an April convention appearance where Lee looked to be in bad shape and appeared to be struggling as he interacted with paying guests during autograph signings.1comments
In one video that surfaced from the signing, Morgan could be seen over Lee's shoulder, instructing the 95-year-old comic book creator how to sign his own name.
Per tradition, Lee next makes a cameo appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp, out July 6, as the Marvel Studios production is based on characters he co-created.