Stan Lee has dropped the $1 billion lawsuit he filed in May against POW! Entertainment, the company he co-founded in 2001.
In his complaint, Lee had alleged POW! conspired to steal his identity, name and likeness in a "nefarious scheme" involving a "sham" sale to a Chinese corporation. The Hollywood Reporter obtained a statement issued by Lee earlier today dismissing the matter.
“The whole thing has been confusing to everyone, including myself and the fans, but I am now happy to be surrounded by those who want the best for me," Lee said. "I am thrilled to put the lawsuit behind me, get back to business with my friends and colleagues at POW! and launch the next wave of amazing characters and stories!”
“We are ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed,” added POW! CEO Shane Duffy, “and we look forward to working with Stan again to develop and produce the great projects that were put on hold when the lawsuit was filed. We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”
POW! Entertainment was acquired in 2017 by Hong Kong-based Camsing International. Lee’s lawsuit contended that Duffy and POW! co-founder Gill Champion did not disclose the terms of the deal to him before it closed. The suit also claimed that Lee was being taken advantage of, as his wife was on her deathbed at the time, and he had been rendered legally blind by macular degeneration, both of which left him devastated and susceptible.
Lee contented that Duffy and Champion, along with Lee’s ex-business manager Jerardo Olivarez (whom he's still suing for fraud), had asked him to sign a non-exclusive license for the use of his name and likeness in connection with creative works owned by the company. Instead, he allegedly signed a "fraudulent" intellectual property assignment agreement, granted the company "the exclusive right to use Lee's name, identity, image and likeness on a worldwide basis in perpetuity." Camsing vehemently denied the claims.
Today’s statement is the latest in what has been an increasingly strange and tumultuous year for the 95-year-old comics creator. His wife of 70 years passed away in December, and shortly thereafter allegations of elder abuse were lodged against Lee’s caretakers, including his own daughter – claims that Lee has since strongly denied. More recently, Lee also claimed that POW! had taken control of his social media, and that his blood had been stolen and mixed into the ink for several collectible comics at Marvel’s Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. at Treasure Island.