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Stan Lee Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Former Company POW! Entertainment

Stan Lee Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Former Company POW! Entertainment

Stan Lee is filing a $1 billion lawsuit against his former production company POW! Entertainment for allegedly conspiring the ninety-five-year-old comic legend into signing over the exclusive rights to his name, identity and likeness.

The lawsuit deals with the 2017 sale of POW! Entertainment to China-based company Camsing International, a licensing agreement which would require the signature of Lee, who co-founded POW!. According to the lawsuit, Lee claims that the company’s CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion failed to disclose the full terms of the sale, leading Lee to believe that the deal was non-exclusive, despite the agreement stating in plain text that it would give “the exclusive rights to use Lee’s name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity.” Additionally, Lee was grieving over the death of his wife and suffering from advanced macular degeneration, resulting in him being legally blind and unable to read during the time. As such, the suit cites Champion and Duffy as “opportunists” who took advantage of Lee’s vulnerable mental and physical state.

“Lee does not recall anyone reading the Illegitimate Document to him, and, due to his advanced macular degeneration, he could not have read it himself,” Lee’s attorney writes in the court document. “While the Illegitimate Document purports to contain Lee’s signature, Lee never knowingly signed it. Either Duffy, Champion, Oliveraz [sic] or POW! (1) forged Lee’s signatures; (2) lifted Lee’s signature from another document and imposed it on the Illegitimate Document; or, (3) someone, likely one of the Defendants, induced Lee to sign the Illegitimate Document by using a bait and switch tactic: telling Lee it was something else.” Jerardo Oliveraz is Lee’s former business manager, who is also being sued for fraud for $20 million.

The suit further argues that Lee would have never agreed to sign over exclusive rights to his name to Camsing International, citing the fact that Lee wouldn’t give Disney the rights to his name when the studio bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009.