Another day, another strange chapter in the ongoing saga of Marvel Comics co-creator, Stan Lee. We just reported on the outpouring of fan and celebrity support for Lee, following months of reports about how the comic book icon has suffered everything from being swindled financially, to having his very blood stolen!
In the midst of all this, Lee has come out in denial that he's being abused or taken advantage of, going so far as threatening to sue over reports that refute that claim. That's why it's now especially strange to hear that Stan Lee is himself suing one of the people close to him, for millions of dollars.
TMZ is dropping the story that Stan Lee is suing Jerardo Olivarez, his ex-business manager. The accusations point to Olivarez being the perpetrator of the much-publicized misuse of Lee's money, a story which began to circulate last fall. Among the alleged crimes, Olivarez is said to be the person who purchased nearly a million dollars worth of real estate in Lee's name - in addition to stealing nearly $300K from him. Taking things even further, it's alleged that Olivarez is also the person who pushed one of Lee's live-in nurses to extract a copious amount of the icon's blood, which ended up being used to sign some Black Panther comics that popped up on sale in Las Vegas.
With this latest development, we now arrive at two conflicting stories about what all is going on with Lee. On the one hand, Lee himself is claiming that reports of his misfortune are being exaggerated and skewed; on the other hand, months upon months of insidious reports all seem to culminate with the assertion that Olivarez was at the heart of a concerted effort to scam Lee out of money, and/or take advantage of his age.
Of course, there may be more to this than it seems. This suit focuses on Olivarez, but in the big report breaking down Lee's situation, it was alleged that there is a group of perpetrators who were at the heart of the scandal. Per THR:
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."
It's unclear where the truth lies in all this - but if life teaches anything, the answer is probably 'somewhere in the middle.' The interesting aspect that doesn't seem to get as much focus is that Lee's daughter is at the heart of this scandal. Since the passing of Joan Lee, it's become increasingly clear that the relationship between Lee and his daughter J.C. is a strained one; Stan maintains that his daughter isn't to blame for his financial troubles, and has even stated that his main desire is to stop her from blowing through her own inheritance, since Joan died. Yet at the same time, Lee has been quick to not incriminate his daughter, going so far as to throw out the declaration referenced above and breaking with his longtime lawyer, while maintaining that his daughter is clear of all blame, and that he's not being taken advantage of.
At the end of all this, it's still sad to see an icon like Stan Lee going through such troubled times. With the outpouring of support from industry people, one hopes that Stan will get some kind of intervention, which will perhaps set him on a better course. Kevin Smith has gone so far as to offer the Marvel creator his home, so it's just up to Lee to accept the help.6comments
We'll keep you updated on the latest regarding Stan Lee. Check back.
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.