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:

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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.

And another:

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.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I read in one report that Stan’s daughter has “never met a con man she didn’t love.”

    It seems people are trying to squeeze every last dollar from his celebrity. There’s no sane reason for a 95-year-old man, who now uses a wheelchair, to keep showing up at conventions, movie premieres, etc. He may be only vaguely aware of where he is and what he’s doing.

    “There’s a pretty simple name for what is being done to Lee and it’s called “Elder Abuse.”

    Stan should be in an assisted living facility, and his the grifters should be kept away from him. I wish someone would go to the L.A. District Attorney’s office about this.

  2. It’s hard to watch this, and I couldn’t even finish reading that THR report because everyone in it sickened me so much. There’s not a winner in the entire group.

    And if his daughter never met a con man she didn’t love, the apple doesn’t seem to fall too far from the tree. Look at all the questionable deals Stan has been in over the last 10 or 20 years. It’s just sad. And the whole thing now is being handled in the press, with people obviously leaking things left and right and getting their “side” of the story out to make others look bad or themselves look better. This will not end well.

    No matter what you think of the Lee vs. Kirby battles over the decades, Stan Lee does not deserve all of this crap.

  3. I agree with Augie. It doesn’t matter what business deals he made or who he worked with, no one deserves this. It’s just wrong.

  4. “I hope, for the sake of decency, that no other convention organizer even CONSIDERS having Lee as a guest.”

    That’s the key. Not that it will stop the vultures from trying to bleed Stan dry—literally in this case—but with that avenue of revenue gone, maybe they’d stop dragging a sick man around the whole country.

  5. This reminds me of Groucho Marx’s last years, when the elderly comedian’s “handlers” forced him to make public appearances he didn’t want to make. He clearly had no idea where he was at some of these appearances.

    Groucho’s son Arthur eventually took legal action to keep the grifters away from his father. Stefan Kanfer’s biography, “Groucho,” has an excellent account of this.

  6. “I hope, for the sake of decency, that no other convention organizer even CONSIDERS having Lee as a guest.”

    And sites like the Beat can do their part by refusing to cover or publicize conventions that invite Stan as a guest. And, yes, that includes Comic-Con.

  7. I wish that you would also report this part of the story that the story of his alleged involvement with the nurse was FABRICATED.

    “The declaration, which she says she later gave to the police, also describes how Morgan had previously made it clear that he would go to the media with information about a past DUI and misdemeanor hit-and-run incident Sanchez had if she were to report the acts of elder abuse she claims she witnessed. A Daily Mail article in late February that broke news of her departure from the Lee household detailed Sanchez’s record and asserted what she describes as a fabricated physical relationship between her and Lee. (Video shared with THR depicts Lee at home angrily denying any inappropriate relationship with Sanchez to others, including her nursing agency boss.) Morgan claims he leaked nothing and bears no ill will toward the nurse.”

  8. Also, we don’t know if Stan doesn’t want to appear at conventions anymore. He said at SDCC 2017 that these appearances kept him going and kept him young. That said, it’s one thing if his wranglers are bleeding him dry for the sake of money. It’s another if Stan actually WANTS to do these appearances and come out and talk to the fans. If he doesn’t want to do this and he’s being forced, it’s obviously wrong. You can’t make a blanket statement that says he shouldn’t be invited to conventions. Someone needs to make sure that he is okay and being treated right. That’s the priority: his health and his happiness.

    Many of us have had a chance to see him over the years and we’ve been grateful for the ride that it’s been. I wish him only the best.

  9. A few weeks ago the Beat was publishing reports claiming that Stan himself was sexually abusing all of his nurses. You guys are really all over the place. Maybe you guys got caught up in the MeToo moment, figured you’d send him out to his twilight as a known rapist. Are both stories true? And if Stan really was raping so many young girls over the years, why should I give a shit if he’s being abused?

  10. If Stan wants to appear at cons, For God’s sake, let him rest more and also actually talk to the fans. That video was just disgusting. However, if he wants to retire, Then LET him! either way, his handlers deserve a kick in the butt.

  11. Someone should petition a court to appoint a conservator to protect Stan and his finances. This was done for Mickey Rooney in his last days, when he was being robbed blind by various sleazes.

    The conservator can’t be his 67-year-old daughter, who, according to reports, has never held a job, has been on an “allowance” from her parents for her entire adult life, and runs up monthly credit card bills of $20K to $40K, and sometimes more.

    Rooney, who earned tens of millions of dollars in his career, died with about $20K in the bank. Stan Lee may end up the same.

  12. “It sounds to me like prison is best place for Lee’s daughter. She can live out the rest of her life there.”

    Homeless or confined to a mental institution are likely scenarios.

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