May 23, 2018

Stan Lee files $1 billion lawsuit over 'theft of his likeness'

16 May 2018, 03:28 | Winston Chapman

Stan Lee Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! Entertainment for "Stealing" His Name and Likeness

STAN LEE Files $1B Lawsuit Against POW! ENTERTAINMENT - Report

The new suit also mentions Olivarez, though he is not named as a defendant.

Lee's lawsuit against his former company includes current CEO Shane Duffy and Gill Champion - co-founder of POW! alongside Lee - and accuses them of tricking Lee into signing over the exclusive rights to his likeness, including the rights to his name.

Stan Lee has come out swinging against his former company POW!

Stan Lee is suing the entertainment company he co-founded for $1bn (£742m). "Defendants, and each of them, knew that their objective was unlawful and they meant to aid each other in achieving that unlawful objective". Lee founded Pow! in 2001 and sold it a year ago to Camsing International Holding, a Hong Kong company.

"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", attorney Adam Grant wrote in the complaint, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The suit draws attention to the death of Lee's wife last July, and his degenerative eye condition which has caused his poor eyesight, suggesting he could not have read the documents. The suit alleges that Lee was led to believe the deal included a licensing agreement that was non-exclusive, however the contract he signed gave POW!

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However, the suit says, Champion and POW! "While the Illegitimate Document purports to contain Lee's signature, Lee never knowingly signed it".

"In addition, POW! took control of Lee's personal social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, thereby impersonating Lee before a combined 15 million followers worldwide", the complaint reads. "Lee has yet to provide anyone with the exclusive right to use his identity, image, name and likeness".

Lee is seeking an injunction declaring the agreement invalid and unenforceable and damages in excess of $1 billion.

According to the court documents, Lee had no idea a sale was in the offing.

The BBC has contacted POW! and the Hong-Kong based Camsing International Holding, who owns it, for comment.

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