Stan Lee files $1 billion lawsuit over 'theft of his likeness'

Stan Lee

"Upon her death", it reads, "Lee at age 94 became the target of various unscrupulous businessmen, sycophant and opportunists who saw a chance to take advantage of Lee's despondent state of mind, kind heart and devotion to his craft - a devotion that often allowed him to overlook the bad intentions of others when it came to his property". Entertainment to Camsing International, a Chinese-based company. CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion.

Stan Lee has gone after his ex-company, POW!

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. "Inc. the exclusive use of Lee's identity, name, image, and likeness as described in further detail below", the suit continues.

Lee says past 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.

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The comic book creator added that he doesn't recall anyone reading the "illegitimate document" to him and, because of his advanced macular degeneration (he was declared legally blind in 2015), 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 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.

Lee is seeking compensatory and punitive damages totalling $1 billion, rescission of the illegitimate document and injunctive relief. The suit also says POW! was given the right to use Lee's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. "While the Illegitimate Document purports to contain Lee's signature, Lee never knowingly signed it".

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