Updated July 9, 2018: Stan Lee has dropped his $1 billion lawsuit against his business partners POW! Entertainment.
Lee's suit alleged that POW! had taken advantage of his grief over his wife's death and his degenerated vision to coerce him into signing a contract granting POW! exclusive use of his likeness.
“The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans, but I am now happy to be surrounded by those who want the best for me," Lee said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I am thrilled to put the lawsuit behind me, get back to business with my friends and colleagues at POW! and launch the next wave of amazing characters and stories!”
“We are ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed and we look forward to working with Stan again to develop and produce the great projects that were put on hold when the lawsuit was filed," added POW! CEO Shane Duffy. "We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”
The lawsuit was initially filed amid a string of legal issues for Lee, including allegations that the 95-year-old creator has suffered elder abuse at the hands of his former business manager Keya Morgan, against whom Lee's attorneys have filed a restraining order.
Original Story: Stan Lee has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against his former business partners POW! Entertainment, according to reported court documents obtained by Variety.
Lee's purported complaint alleges that Lee signed a fraudulent contract with POW!, granting them exclusive rights to his name, though the suit claims Lee negotiated a non-exclusive agreement. The documents, reportedly filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by attorney Adam D.H. Grant of Alpert, Barr & Grant, go on to allege that Chinese firm Camsing International Holding took advantage of Lee's poor eyesight brought on by macular degeneration during its acquisition of POW! Entertainment to alter a clause intended to grant POW! non-exclusive rights to use his name to instead secretly grant POW! an exclusive right to use Lee's name.
The purported suit seeks to rescind POW!'s agreement with Lee entirely on those grounds, as well as seeking "damages in excess of one billion dollars."
This week, Lee's Twitter account began reporting that Lee himself had gained personal control of the account. The recent string of tweets purport to be Lee's first personal communication on the account, with all previous tweets allegedly written by an unnamed entity without Lee's input. Lee's Twitter account also alleged that the same entity continues to run Lee's verified Instagram and Facebook acounts. The lawsuit alleges that POW! Entertaiment is behind these social media accounts, which was independently verified by Newsarama. POW! did not return Newsarama's request for comment regarding the social media accounts prior to the filing of the suit.
Around 7:00 p.m. PST on May 15 Lee posted a video to his Twitter thanking fans for their support, and saying he didn't realize how much he was missing without access to his Twitter account.
Thank you twitter. I finally learned how to post a video thanks to you guys. pic.twitter.com/SiSqnNakd9— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) May 16, 2018