The life of comic book creator Stan Lee seems to become more complicated, as he has now filed a lawsuit against his former business partners for a mammoth $1 billion. The comic book industry icon has sued POW Entertainment claiming that the company, which he co-founded, has taken advantage of his identity without taking his permission.
Lee had established the POW Entertainment along with current co-founder Gill Champion and CEO Shane Duffy in the year 2001. However, in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Lee has alleged that the two have worked together and conspired to take away his name and identity.
Lee claims in the lawsuit that Champion and Duffy failed to share the details and full terms and agreed to a deal to sell off POW Entertainment to a China-based company, Camsing International in the year 2017. The lawsuit further alleges that Lee was tricked into signing the contract papers which gave Champion and Duffy the exclusive rights to use Lee’s name, identity, image as well as likeness. And, in the worst case, the suit even claims that the two may have forged or fraudulently taken Lee’s signature onto the legal papers.
The complaint also claims that Champion and Duffy took advantage of Lee’s despair while his wife was on deathbed and his diagnosis of macular degeneration which has left him visually challenged as he has lost most of his vision since the year 2015.
As per the complaint, POW Entertainment required Lee’s legal permission to use his identity and name which he says he never gave. The suit further states that he does not remember anyone reading out the full terms of the contract to him and that he did not knowingly sign the papers. Hence, the suit claims that either the company forged his signature or has tricked him into signing the contract.
A representative for the company has not yet responded to any comments on the suit.