Stan Lee, the former head of Marvel Comics and creator of numerous comic book heroes, has filed a lawsuit against his former business manager.
According to legal documents, he is suing his Jerardo Olivarez for allegedly duping him of millions of dollars and even stealing his blood.
After Lee’s wife Joan died in 2017, the comic book legend “became the target of various unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists who saw a chance to take advantage of [his] despondent state of mind,” according to the complaint Lee filed.
Olivarez, the complaint alleges, “was one such opportunist”.
Following Joan’s death, the complaint claims, his ex-manager and other plaintiffs consolidated control of Lee’s professional and personal affairs, and “caused approximately $4.6 million [Dh16.89 million] dollars to be transferred out of [his] Merrill Lynch Account without [his] authorisation”.
Lee also claims in the complaint that Olivarez “convinced [him]” to create a “false charity” called Hands of Respect, which Lee’s lawyers say was used to funnel money away from Lee and into Olivarez’s own pockets.
Lee is also accusing his ex-manager of inserting himself into his will and trust, setting up a number of unapproved business dealing that have left him open to lawsuits, investing “tens of thousands of dollars in a tie business that was a scam”, forging his signature on comics and using his credit cards for “unauthorised purchases”.
In the lawsuit’s most bizarre accusation, Lee claims Olivarez launched a “diabolical and ghoulish scheme” to sell the icon’s blood.
“Olivarez had a nurse inject Lee with a syringe and extract many containers of blood, which he had Hands of Respect later sell in Las Vegas as a collectible for thousands of dollars.”
This was done without Lee’s consent, according to the documents, which state that the scheme “compounded Lee’s grief and angst and caused him tremendous emotional distress”.
Lee is suing for fraud, financial abuse of an elder, misappropriation of his name and likeness and other counts. He’s seeking unspecified damages.