It seems the rest of the world has taken notice of some alarm bells that we've been sounding since last year: Marvel co-creator Stan Lee is in need of help. However, a new report by THR reveals just how badly in need of assistance Lee allegedly is, as people close to him have reportedly conspired to seize Stan Lee's financial assets, and use his icon status for their own benefits.
The report opens by revealing a legal anecdote from back in February, when Lee reportedly visited his attorney Tom Lallas to draw up an official legal declaration:
"The Feb. 13 document, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, begins with some background, explaining that Lee and his late wife had arranged a trust for their daughter because she had trouble supporting herself and often overspent...It goes on to describe how, when he and his daughter disagree — "which is often" — she "typically yells and screams at me and cries hysterically if I do not capitulate"...Lee explains that J.C. will, "from time to time," demand changes to her trust, including the transfer of properties into her name. He has resisted such changes, he states, because they "would greatly increase the likelihood of her greatest fear: that after my death, she will become homeless and destitute."
The declaration then explicates how three men with "bad intentions" — Jerardo "Jerry" Olivarez, Keya Morgan and J.C.'s attorney, Kirk Schenck — had improperly influenced his daughter, a woman with "very few adult friends." The document claims the trio has "insinuated themselves into relationships with J.C. for an ulterior motive and purpose": to take advantage of Lee and "gain control over my assets, property and money."
With Stan Lee estimated to be worth $50 - 70 million, this is quite a scheme, indeed. However, just days after Lee had the declaration drawn up and noterized, he reportedly reversed course and changed his mind about it, resulting in Tom Lallas being dismissed as Lee's attorney, after an argument that resulted in the LAPD being called ot Lee's home.
What's described next is a dark and disturbing account of Olivarez, Morgan , and Schenck (with help from J.C.) all working in unison to seize control of Lee's finances. It's said that the group either outright banished or pushed out some of Lee's longtime employees or associates, such as his longtime assistant Mike Kelly, and the housekeeper and gardener Lee had used for decades. It's further reported that a new accountant named Vince Maguire (Tobey Maguire's brother) was brought in, as well as a "revolving door" of lawyers. Morgan is allegedly monitoring and writing Lee's emails, and his phone number has always been changed.
Morgan has maintained that he has done nothing wrong; he made a statement that he looking over all of Lee's correspondence was "his request, and he thanks me for helping him." He also reportedly responded to THR's report with a video of Lee discrediting the initial declaration he made with former attorney Tom Lallas:
"In the video, an animated and robust Lee goes on to state that "my relationship with my daughter has never been better, and my friend Keya Morgan and I also have a great relationship … anybody who is saying anything [else] … is just spreading lies."
J.C.'s lawyer Kirk Schenck has been quick to defend his client, releasing a statement that claims, "the story isn't that J.C. is taking advantage of her father, but that she's potentially being taken advantage of by multiple men." Lee himself has released no new statements on the matter.
This all adds to a ongoing saga of sad and/or worrisome situations Stan Lee has found himself in, since losing his wife Joan last year. In that time, Lee has had money, real estate, and even his own blood all stolen from him (presumably from the same group of conspirators); in the fall, Lee was also accused of sexual misconduct by his live-in nurses, and he's started out 2018 battling serious illness like pneumonia. Fans and other celebrities have started to take notice of toll being taken on the geek culture legend - especially during a recent convention appearance, in which a sick and tired Lee is seen on video being put through a rigorous book-signing session.
With Marvel Studios conquering the entertainment industry, and about to drop the milestone that is Avengers: Infinity War, Lee should be enjoying making a final round of fun cameos before possibly just retiring from the scene, to enjoy his final years in peace. No one wants to see him run into the ground, or shamefully manipulated like so many senior citizens routinely are.
As one "insider" says of the current situation with Stan Lee: it's "an utter sh*t show."
Marvel Studios' Black Panther is now playing in theaters. Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters on April 27, 2018. It is followed by Ant-Man and The Wasp on July 6, 2018, Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers 4 on May 3, 2019, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 5, 2019, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2020.