Stan Lee, the former head of Marvel Comics and creator of numerous comic book heroes, reportedly needs a superhero for himself. At Marvel in New York in the 1960s, Lee created the comic book characters that dominate the box office today. But at 95 and reeling from his wife’s death last year and a fight with his daughter, Lee stands at the centre of a nasty battle for his care and estate.
Lee’s friend, who chose to not be named, says Lee “is in need of a superhero himself”, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
In February, fighting what he later called “a little bout of pneumonia”, Lee had an argument with his 67-year-old daughter J.C. It seems to have been a breaking point.
In his attorney Tom Lallas’ office, Lee signed a declaration documented on February 13, as obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that Lee and his late wife had arranged a trust for their daughter because she had trouble supporting herself and often overspent.
“It is not uncommon for J.C. to charge, in any given month, $20,000 to $40,000 on credit cards, sometimes more,” the document stated.
It also described how when he and his daughter disagree — “which is often” — she “typically yells and screams at me and cries hysterically if I do not capitulate”.
Lee explained in the document that J.C. “from time to time” demands changes to her trust, including the transfer of properties into her name. He has resisted such changes, he said, because they “would greatly increase the likelihood of her greatest fear: that after my death, she will become homeless and destitute”. Lee’s estate is estimated to be worth between $50 million and $70 million. He receives $1 million a year for his Marvel ties.
The declaration named Jerardo “Jerry” Olivarez, Keya Morgan and Kirk Schneck as those who are collaborating and using J.C. to usurp Lee of his fortunes. When Morgan learned that The Hollywood Reporter had obtained a copy of the declaration, he filmed a video of Lee distancing himself from the document. In the clip, while Lee doesn’t deny signing the declaration, he calls its contents “totally incorrect, inaccurate, misleading and insulting”. The attorney says he went through the contents with Lee “word by word, line by line”.
In the video, an animated and robust Lee states: “My relationship with my daughter has never been better, and my friend Keya Morgan and I also have a great relationship… anybody who is saying anything else… is just spreading lies.”