Stan Lee has come out swinging against his former company POW! Lee alleges in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday that POW Entertainment and two of its officers, CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion, conspired to steal his identity and likeness.
Stan Lee is 95, but a little thing like that doesn't stop him from aggressively protecting his name and likeness.
Lee says previous year Duffy and Champion, along with his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez, whom he's now suing for fraud, asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with POW! for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. "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". Entertainment was sold to a Chinese company, named Camsing, in 2017, but during negotiations, Lee claims he was in poor health and dealing with vision loss due to macular degeneration. He was also grieving over the death of his wife, Joan.
The site goes on to state how Lee wouldn't give Disney the rights to use his name when the studio bought Marvel's movie rights for $4 billion in 2009, which could be used as an example to why Lee wouldn't forfeit his name in this case.
Lee also claims POW! took control of his social media accounts and has been impersonating him - something he's recently addressed on Twitter. If someone had read the document to Lee, the suit adds, "he would not have knowingly signed it".
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.
The suit suggests that Duffy, Champion or POW! either forged Lee's signature, lifted it from another document or induced him to sign it by telling him it was something else.