Stan Lee vs. the vultures?

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Are these really the last days of Stan Lee? "Months after losing his wife, the 95-year-old comic book legend is surrounded by charlatans and mountebanks," writes Mark Ebner, as "Stan and [his daughter] JC are literally being picked apart by vultures:"

In just over two months, there have been published reports of an unauthorized check for $300,000 written from Lee's business account without his knowledge to Hands of Respect, a "merchandising company" and ersatz charity formed by Lee and Jerry Olivarez, a former business associate of his daughter's.

One or more five-figure checks have been made out to Olivarez, money leaking out of larger financial transactions, mysterious bank transfers, and questionable real estate purchases. Under particular scrutiny is the period when Olivarez was briefly able to gain power of attorney over Lee's affairs in the chaos surrounding the death of Lee's wife. Forensic accountants (among them Tobey Maguire's brother Vince) are currently ferreting through over a thousand pages of financial records from the eight individual estates, corporate entities and trusts comprising Lee's holdings.

One possible counterweight is Keya Morgan, who "has been friends with Stan and his wife Joan for a decade."

Morgan seems to have Stan's ear during this time of trial, and (at Stan's behest) has hired security guards, secured a new lawyer and forensic accountants, and changed the locks on the house to restrict the escalating flow of unwelcome surprises.

"There are other red flags," continues, Ebner, "apart from the allegations against Olivarez:"

And there's another point of contention--rather, 1.4 million of them. "There is $1.4 million missing," said Morgan, referring to vanished cash first reported by TMZ and confirmed by JC's representative. "What happened was, it was $6 million. By the time it was transferred to Merrill Lynch and back to UBS, it was $4.6 million, so I want to know what happened to that $1.4 million.

Mark Evanier writes of the scandal that "a lot of it's speculation from afar and that's not helpful:"

I personally have some very mixed feelings about Stan Lee but I have enough affection for him to not add to the pile of rumors, some of which are obviously wrong or askew. I'm convinced there are enough lawyers and law enforcement officials and benevolent friends of Stan swarming around this matter that he's now as protected as he can be, and that the truth will eventually come out, though maybe not in his lifetime. What matters most now is his health and comfort...and I'm thinking he could also do with a little privacy.

Despite mostly taking Jack Kirby's side during the intermittent Lee/Kirby disagreements, I have no small affection for the writer whose overwrought and alliterative writing did so much to bring the beloved Marvel Universe into being. May he be treated well in his sunset years, as our culture's myth-makers deserve to be.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on March 11, 2018 3:50 PM.

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