It’s nice to live a long time, but when you outlive everyone who really cared for you, the result can be tragic. That’s what seems to be happening to Stan Lee right now. With his wife, Joanie, and longtime lawyer, Arthur Lieberman, gone, there is no one who has his best interests at heart alive to take care of him in his last days.
In the most in-depth – and by far the most disturbing – investigation into what is really going on with Stan Lee, THR’s Gary Baum digs deep into the four way battle over Stan Lee’s last remaining time and money. And it’s a sickening story.
Just a few quotes make that clear. There was the scheme to use his blood for signings:
Olivarez believes Morgan led a ‘smear campaign’ against him that continues to this day. He cites a recent attempt to taint an idea he calls a ‘cool’ merchandising effort — blending Lee’s blood into special ‘DNA’ ink used in pens and stamps — into something sinister.
and the fact that everyone who cares for him in his last days is a felon:
Anderson points out that he already “did my time” for his convictions and “we do things in life that we regret.” He says it’s ironic that Morgan might be leaking his prison records, since Morgan himself is on 24 months’ probation and required to complete a 12-session anger management program for a criminal threat conviction. “He’s making an issue of something about me, which happened way before [his association with] Stan, while he has something that happened during his time with Stan. Who’s calling the kettle black?”
Baum lays out the legal maneuverings of four distinct camps who all want Stan’s money, whatever’s left of it, and I don’t have the stomach to read all the filings or watch all the videos but it’s obvious that he needs to have someone around who actually cares for the man, and not his money.
Lee made what I hope will be his last convention appearance this last weekend at the Silicon Valley Comicon, and it is painful to behold. On Facebook, fans were calling it “Weekend at Stan Lee’s” in reference to Weekend at Bernies, in which a corpse is lugged around pretending to still be alive.
The photos of Lee are hard to look at. One attendee wrote:
It broke my heart at the photo op. Literally the photographer kept yelling his name between each person and this agent or handler kept coming up to him to wake him up between each photo. He couldn’t even stay awake, I hope he can rest up after this.
Yeah,it definitely was a sad photo op. It fealt awkward and almost guilty of us to even be there when he was obviously suffering. They had to take ours twice because he had his eyes closed. He made noises like he was either in pain or wanting to just not be there.
It’s making me heartsick just to read these. YOU can say what you want about Lee as a person – and his lifelong penchant for making bad deals and surrouning himself with grifters is coming back to bite him big time – but in the interests of human dignity, this is enough.
There’s a pretty simple name for what is being done to Lee and it’s called “Elder Abuse.” When all the trouble with Lee started to emerge after Joanie died, several convention organizers reached out to me to confide that they thought his previous handler, Max Anderson, might have been guilty of elder abuse, but reading the allegations about the people around Lee now, Anderson was Florence Nightingale.
I hope, for the sake of decency, that no other convention organizer even CONSIDERS having Lee as a guest.
It’s been great but it’s over.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.