Poor Stan Lee. There seems to be a lot going on with him lately, and this latest chapter seems to be even more evidence that there are some serious wrongdoings going on with people trying to take advantage of him in his elderly state. So the story right now is, when Lee’s wife passed last year, apparently POW! Entertainment CEO Shane Duffy, and Gill Champion (who co-founded the production company with Lee) sold POW! to a Chinese company called Camsing, apparently taking advantage of Lee’s fragile state of mind, macular degeneration (so he could not see what the documents said) and his poor health. In the process, they also illegally sold the exclusive rights to Stan Lee’s name, image, and likeness. None of which has made Stan happy once he found out about it, especially since he is claiming that he never knowingly signed the paperwork making that sale legal, meaning that Duffy and Champion either forged his signature or tricked him into signing by claiming it was something else, knowing he could not see what they had. Lee repeatedly has pointed out how important his name and likeness are to him and his family, reminding people that he did not even sell those to Disney during the big Marvel deal a few years back.
According to Lee’s attorney, Adam Grant, in the official complaint:
“Pursuant to their conspiracy and agreement, Defendants, and each of them, knowingly made material misrepresentations of fact, and forged or fraudulently obtained a signature from Lee to give POW! Inc. the exclusive use of Lee’s identity, name, image, and likeness as described in further detail below. Defendants, and each of them, knew that their objective was unlawful and they intended to aid each other in achieving that unlawful objective.”
Grant goes on to speak about the fraudulent nature of the “signature” of Lee’s supposedly on the documents, saying:
“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 allegations of POW! taking over Lee’s social media accounts and impersonating him, all of which can help one understand why Lee is suing for about $1 billion in damages, should all of the claims be true. The whole thing is clearly a mess, and I hate seeing more evidence of people taking advantage of Stan Lee, and I hope the man manages to get a team around him to prevent this kind of shiesty business from occurring in the future.
Do you have any thoughts on what happened? Could this be connected to the previous stories of elder abuse and mismanagement of Lee seen earlier this year? Share your thoughts in the comments below!