Comic legend Stan Lee is suing his former business manager for elder abuse and fraud.
According to Deadline, the suit, lodged with the Los Angeles Superior Court against Jerardo Olivarez, is prompted by a number of factors which came into play following Lee’s wife’s death late last year. At that point he was targeted by “unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists” which, according to Lee in the suit, included Olivarez.
The suit alleges only a few days after Joan Lee’s death, Olivarez fired Lee’s long-time banker and attorney and transferred $4.6 million out of Lee’s bank account without permission. In addition, Olivarez allegedly convinced Lee to sign over power of attorney and appoint Uri Litvak, Olivarez’ own lawyer, as Lee’s new attorney.
According to the suit, Olivarez also allegedly convinced Lee to donate $300,000 to Hands of Respect, a for-profit merchandising company Olivarez claimed was a charity. Allegedly, Olivarez also used Hands of Respect to sell vials of Lee’s blood, as well as comics stamped with it, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“There are shops in Las Vegas selling [his] blood,” Keya Morgan, a Lee family friend says, “They’re stamping his blood inside the Black Panther comic books and they sell them for $500 each.”
The suit also claims Lee’s money was used to purchased an $850,000 condo in West Hollywood for Olivarez without Lee’s approval or knowledge, and an additional $1.4 million was removed from Lee’s accounts which, through a series of wire transfers, was obtained by Olivarez.
When rumors of Lee’s abuse began to surface recently, several celebrities, including Kevin Smith, offered to open their homes to Lee, but Lee initially called the reports “inaccurate” and “insulting,” going so far as to threaten legal action if retractions were not issued.
Brian Barnett is an IGN freelance writer. You can follow and chat with him (he’s super friendly) on Twitter @Ribnax.