Comic book creator Stan Lee has gone to war against POW Entertainment, claiming that executives in the company he co-founded conspired to "steal" his name and likeness.
The curious case of Stan Lee has made waves across the Internet ever since Lee was diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat this February. The company was sold to Chinese company Camsing International Holding Limited previous year, the complaint notes.
Lee also points to the fact he even refused to give Disney the right to use his name when he struck a multi-billion dollar deal with the movie company. CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion. Entertainment to alter a clause meant to grant POW! non-exclusive rights to use his name to instead secretly grant POW! an exclusive right to use Lee's name.
Lee's attorney Adam Grant writes in the filing (via THR): "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".
He's now suing his former business manager Jerardo Olivarez for fraud, accusing him of mismanaging his affairs and embezzling millions of dollars, at the time when he was grieving over the death of Joan Lee in 2017. The suit states that Lee can not recall anyone reading to him the terms of the agreement and that he did not knowingly sign the document. "In addition, POW! took control of Lee's personal social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, thereby impersonating Lee before a combined 15 million followers worldwide". "Lee has yet to provide anyone with the exclusive right to use his identity, image, name and likeness". In the case, taking advantage of Lee's macular degeneration and subsequently impaired sight to get him to sign away exclusive rights to use his name to Camsing International Holding, a Hong Kong-based company that acquired POW! previous year.
The suit hopes to roll back the agreement and collect damages up to one billion dollars.