In the midst of legal struggles with his former business manager, Stan Lee has ended litigation on a $1 billion lawsuit against POW! Entertainment. The star was previously suing the company for allegedly fraudulent use of his likeness.
Lee reportedly filed the complaint just two months ago in Los Angeles County Superior Court claiming that the company and two of its officers conspired to take his identity, name and likeness using an acquisition from a Chinese company as a cover.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, POW! was acquired by Hong Kong-based Camsing International in 2017. Lee’s suit reportedly claimed that POW! CEO Shane Duffy and co-founder Gill Champion asked him to sign a non-exclusive license with the company to use his likeness. However, he claimed was actually given an agreement that granted the company exclusive use of his likeness, which he does not do.
Lee, 95, claimed that the company took advantage of his macular degeneration, which rendered him legally blind in 2015, as well as his grief over the passing of his wife, Joan Lee, who died in July of that year.
“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 to THR. "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!”
POW! CEO Shane Duffy added: “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. We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”
Lee has made headlines recently after the arrest of Keya Morgan, his former business manager. Morgan previously pleaded not guilty to charges of filing a false police report. Lee previously released a video on Twitter explaining that Morgan should be considered his one and only representation. However, days after the arrest, he filed for a temporary restraining order against him based on claims of elder abuse. It’s worth noting that “abuse” in this legal context can mean both physical and financial. A judge recently dismissed Lee's push to make the order permanent.
“For over 10 years I have shown nothing but love, respect & kindness to Stan Lee, & his wife, a fact he has repeated countless time. I have NEVER EVER abused my dear friend. Everything you read in the #FakeNews is pure malicious lies & I will 100% prove it. The truth will come out,” Morgan wrote in a statement on Twitter.