Los Angeles, May 16 Comic book legend Stan Lee has filed a lawsuit against his former business partners at POW! Entertainment for a whopping USD one billion.
The 95-year-old comic book writer claims the company, which he co-founded, conspired with two of its officers, CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion, to steal his identity, reported Deadline.
According to the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lee has alleged that Duffy and Champion did not disclosed the full terms of the company’s sale to Hong Kong-based Camsing International in 2017.
“Defendants conspired and agreed to broker a sham deal to sell POW! to a company in China and fraudulently steal Stan Lee’s identity, name, image, and likeness as part of a nefarious scheme to benefit financially at Lee’s expense,” the court documents read.
“Pursuant to their conspiracy and agreement, Defendants … 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 … and each of them knew that their objective was unlawful and they intended to aid each other in achieving that unlawful objective,” it added.
The suit also stated that Lee does not recall anyone reading to him the terms of the agreement and that he did not knowingly sign the document.
It also claims that after the death of Lee’s wife, Joan Lee, he became “the target of various unscrupulous businessmen, and opportunists who saw a chance to take advantage of Lee’s despondent state of mind, kind and devotion to his craft – a devotion that often allowed him to overlook the bad intentions in others when it came to his property.”
Lee, who last month filed a case against his former manager Jerardo Olivarez for business fraud, has added him in the suit but not as defendent.
Lee claims that Olivarez used his influence to convince him to sign over powers of attorney.
The suit, filed through attorney Adam DH Grant, seeks to rescind the license agreement as well as “damages in excess of one billion dollars”.