Lee, a legend in the entertainment industry who co-created numerous comics characters beloved around the world-including Spider-Man, Iron Man, and the Incredible Hulk, among others-filed a $1 billion suit against the company he co-founded in 2001, POW!
The major claim of the case, writes The Hollywood Reporter, is that POW! and two of its leading members stole Lee's identity, name, and likeness, which were fraudulently sold, at one point, to a company in China. Last year, he claims, the duo and his ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez purportedly asked Lee to sign a non-exclusive license with POW!, T.H.R. reports, which ended up being a "fraudulent" agreement that gave the company "the exclusiveright to use Lee's name, identity, image, and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity".
He says that they either tricked him into signing over the exclusive rights to his name, image and likeness or flat-out forged his signature. The company was sold to Chinese company Camsing International Holding Limited previous year, the complaint notes.
The suit "seeks damages in excess of $1 billion". Entertainment to take control of Lee's social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter.
Lee has denied those claims too.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and published by several U.S. entertainment media outlets, alleges that POW! "I love you all and let's keep up this great relationship".
The comic book creator added that he doesn't recall anyone reading the "illegitimate document" to him and, because of his advanced macular degeneration (he was declared legally blind in 2015), could not have read it himself.
"I want everyone to know whoever is writing them is a fraud and is impersonating me".
On 13 May, Lee's Twitter account bore the message: "Today was the first day I ever did a tweet myself". How do I get them back?
Lee explained that he would not have knowingly signed the licence and that he suspects someone induced him into signing the document by using a "bait and switch" tactic, telling Lee that the document was something else. You guys are my true superheros.
There were more negative headlines when it emerged last month that Lee was being sued by massage therapist Maria Carballo for sexual assault and battery.
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