Stan Lee is being sued by a former assistant, who claims he was wrongfully fired after enduring insults and abuse from the legendary comics creator and his daughter.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, and first reported by Courthouse News Service, Shawn Lukaszewicz said he was initially hired by the Lee family in October 2014 to set up and run a booth at Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo -- a "dream job" that quickly turned nightmarish.
According to Lukaszewicz, when Lee visited the convention booth, he described it as "fucking embarrassing," and told the plaintiff, "You did a shitty job ... this is fucking unbelievable." Despite the alleged problems with his work, Lukaszewicz said he was hired only days later by Lee, his wife Joan Lee and their daughter Joan Celia Lee as a full-time executive assistant for two of the family businesses.
Lukaszewicz, whose duties included overseeing websites, managing social media for Joan Celia Lee and running errands for the family, claims that although he was hired at $40 per hour for a 40-hour work week,he was required to be available around the clock. When he asked about being paid overtime for putting in additional hours, the plaintiff claims he was told, "You are lucky to be working for the Lee family in the first place." He states that he frequently had to contend with late or short paychecks; around the Christmas holidays his salary was allegedly slashed from $40 to $25 per hour.
While most of the incidents recounted in Lukaszewicz's complaint involve Joan Celia Lee, who allegedly berated him as "fucking stupid," "a fucking idiot" and "my little bitch," it also cites run-ins with Stan Lee:Â For instance, while taking Lee to an April 2015 meeting with boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, Lukaszewicz contends the comics legend became "very abusive" toward him for driving too slow, out of concern that Pacquiao had to catch a flight to Las Vegas.Â When Pacquiao didn't appear at the meeting, Lee allegedly called Lukaszewicz a "fucking idiot," saying, "You wasted my time. Now everyone at the office thinks you are a fucking asshole."
According to the lawsuit, Lukaszewicz was finally fired in June after he drove Joan Celia Lee from Los Angeles to San Francisco. As they arrived at the hotel, another dispute allegedly erupted over wages. He claims he was abandoned in San Francisco with no money, and had to find his own way back home.
Claiming wrongful firing, labor code violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Lukaszewicz is seeking punitive damages from Stan Lee, Joan Lee, Joan Celia Lee and two of their companies, including POW! Entertainment.