Those of us waiting for a reason to feel optimistic about the troubling circumstances surrounding Stan Lee and his fortune maaaaybe shouldn’t start holding our breath. A new investigation from The Hollywood Reporter reads like a dark prequel to The Daily Beast’s report published last month.
THR obtained a legal document the 95-year-old Lee signed back in February, essentially designed to ensure J.C. Lee, his 67-year-old daughter and sole heir, wields limited direct control over his estate after his passing. In the statement, The Marvel Universe’s most recognizable creator says J.C. has never been able to make her own money, spends like a madman, and is an easy mark for the type of individuals who make their livings by manipulating gullible rich people.
“It is not uncommon for J.C. to charge, in any given month, $20,000 to $40,000 on credit cards, sometimes more,” reads the statement. It continues to say that if Stan Lee doesn’t pony up as much as J.C. asks for, she “typically yells and screams at me and cries hysterically if I do not capitulate.”
The document also has Lee putting three men in his and J.C.’s circle on blast for having “bad intentions” regarding the Lee fortune. These include Jerry Olivarez, who’s been accused of using Lee’s name to found a bogus charity called “Hands of Respect” and stamping Black Panther comics with Lee’s stolen blood. Keya Morgan, a pop culture memorabilia dealer who currently functions as Lee’s primary caretaker, and J.C. Lee’s attorney are also cited as sinister actors.
Shortly after signing the document, Lee fired the attorney who prepared it. This all occurred not long before a police altercation at Lee’s home involving his longtime road manager Max Anderson, who has also come under scrutiny.
More recently, videos Morgan sent to THR show Lee claiming he didn’t realize what he was signing in February, his relationship with J.C. has “never been better,” Morgan is a perfectly swell dude, and all is well.
Pretty weird, right?
In the video, Lee says the attorney Tom Lallas only worked for him for a few days, but THR reports that J.C. had been leaving Lallas somewhat erratic voicemails from mid-January to mid-February. In the voicemails, she mulls over her ill-informed fear that her father sired a second child with one of his nurses, expresses concerns about Morgan’s agenda, and describes Olivarez as “cleaner than most” of her dad’s hangers-on.
Though J.C. has been depicted sympathetically in other accounts, an eye-witness described a 2014 incident in which the sixtysomething melted down and attacked her nonagenarian father and since deceased mother, Joan Lee. It is said J.C. lost her temper upon discovering a Jaguar she assumed had been purchased for her had, in fact, merely been leased on her behalf in her father’s name.
Like any story where every source is contradicting all the other sources, it’s tricky to nail down precisely what’s going on here. One inside source who spoke to THR describes the situation as an “utter shit show.” We can be certain of that statement’s 100 percent accuracy.