Stan Lee: Comic-book legend, 95, sues for $1bn fraud

The prolific comic book creator says he was conned into signing over his name and likeness rights

"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 suit alleges.

"In each instance in which Lee granted a non-exclusive licence, the licensee has offered to pay a fee for the use of his name, image and likeness, but under no circumstances did Lee ever sell off his personal identity, name, and likeness, which he spent 95 years building up".

Stan Lee has come out swinging against his former company POW!

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According to the suit, Lee has macular degeneration - which causes deteriorating eyesight. The company was sold to Chinese company Camsing International Holding Limited previous year, the complaint notes.

The complaints also claims that Duffy and Champion took advantage of Lee while he was grieving the loss of his wife Joan in 2017: "Upon her death, Lee at the age of 94 became the target of various unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists who saw a chance to take advantage of Lee's despondent mind, kind heart and devotion to his craft". The complaint also states that Camsing was given access to his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts against Lee's wishes.

However, the suit says, Champion and POW!

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Due to Lee's advanced macular degeneration he has lost most of his vision and can not read. Lee took control of his Twitter for the first time today.

Lee explained that he would not have knowingly signed the licence and that he suspects someone induced him into signing the document by using a "bait and switch" tactic, telling Lee that the document was something else.

According to the court documents, Lee had no idea a sale was in the offing.

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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. POW! did not return Newsarama's request for comment regarding the social media accounts prior to the filing of the suit.

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