Less than two months after filing a billion-dollar lawsuit against POW! Entertainment, Stan Lee has dismissed it. Lee was suing POW! for fraud and conversion in what seems to have been one tremendously big misunderstanding. While POW! may be in the clear, it appears that someone is going to have some explaining to do to Lee when all is said and done.
The basis of the lawsuit Lee filed against POW! is that he, at the time, felt as if he had been duped by Gill Champion and Shane Duffy, the company’s CEO and co-founder. Lee believed that the pair had tried to trick him into signing away the worldwide rights to his likeness and name for their own corporate use, irrevocably and in perpetuity. Lee alleged that he thought he was signing a limited agreement that would have only been effective when applied only to POW! properties. Lee has never previously relinquished any rights other than on a temporary basis, so his argument did make some sense to those involved.
Lee claimed that at the time this happened, his wife was on her deathbed which made him emotionally vulnerable and that due to macular degeneration of his eyes which has left him legally blind since 2015, he never clearly read any papers that POW! had given him to sign. He further claimed that this was all part of a “sham” sale to a Chinese company, Camsign.
The other person Lee sued, according to The Hollywood Reporter, was not connected to POW! but was instead Jerardo Olivarez, his former business manager. Lee still has an active lawsuit against him for fraud, as Olivarez is alleged to be the person that advised the agreement was in his best interests to sign by misrepresenting the nature of the contract.
If it sounds confusing, it is. Even Lee admitted it was all pretty hard to follow.
“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. 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!”
As if all of this wasn’t enough, according to Gizmodo, Lee is still embroiled in other lawsuits regarding who is actually representing him, misuse of his social media accounts, possible elder abuse, and restraining orders designed to protect him that are either near expiry or have been dissolved. Lee has stated he hopes that all of his legal issues will quickly be resolved so he can focus on creating characters again.