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.
Stan Lee's ongoing legal battles have become super sized. "Inc. the exclusive use of Lee's identity, name, image, and likeness ... and each of them knew that their objective was unlawful and they meant to aid each other in achieving that unlawful objective".
Lee alleged that the current CEO of POW and a former business partner of his didn't disclose the terms of the acquisition deal to him and that they requested he sign a non-exclusive licence with POW in connection with the creative works owned by POW for the sale. Entertainment, sold rights to a sci-comedy screenplay co-written by Lee to China's Tianying Media Group, for an undisclosed sum. "Inc. the exclusive use of Lee's identity, name, image and likeness".
Lee claims he didn't fully understand what was happening. He's now suing his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez for fraud, while vials of his blood were used for signatures on comics in Las Vegas without him knowing.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and published by several United States entertainment media outlets, alleges that POW!
Lee lost his longtime wife Joan, who died at the age of 93 last July.
Lee claims he doesn't recall anyone reading the document to him (which is essential as Lee's macular degeneration has rendered him legally blind).More news: Emilia Clarke's Solo mission to conquer a galaxy (far, far away)
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Lee also claims POW! took control of his social media accounts and has been impersonating him - something he's recently addressed on Twitter.
According to the lawsuit, Lee was unable to read the document due to his eye condition, and he doesn't remember anyone reading it to him, suggesting that his signature may have been forged, copied or induced.
"From now on, I will depend on you, my dear fans, to protect and defend me".
"Lee's suit adds that they and another man - Jerardo Olivarez, who isn't named as a defendant - managed to convince Lee to sign a power of attorney to gain further and more precise control over Lee's assets".
Adam D.H. Grant and Jennifer Levin Stearns of Alpert, Barr & Grant are representing Lee in the suit, which punitive and compensatory damages in excess of $1 billion.
Lee has faced a similar claim before.