In the latest plot twist to his fraught personal saga, Stan Lee has dropped his $1-billion lawsuit against Pow Entertainment, the Los Angeles-based media outfit he co-founded in 2001 that was sold to a Hong Kong company last year.
The 95-year-old comic book legend behind Spider-Man and other Marvel superheroes said in a statement Monday that he was happy to put the dispute behind him.
“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!”
In the original suit, which was filed in May in L.A. Superior Court, Lee claimed that his business partners had sold the company under fraudulent circumstances. The suit alleged that Pow leaders took advantage of Lee’s emotionally distraught state after the death last year of his wife, Joan, to push the deal through.
Camsing International, the Hong Kong-based company that now controls Pow, said at the time that the accusations were “without merit” and questioned the motive of the complaint, saying it was “so preposterous that the company has to wonder whether Mr. Lee is personally behind this lawsuit.”
The dispute was part of a complex series of legal battles that has consumed Lee in recent months. His manager and caretaker, Keya Morgan, was recently arrested on suspicion of filing a false police report.
Last month, an L.A. judge appointed attorney Tom Lallas as Lee’s temporary guardian. But Lallas’ role is currently being contested by Morgan as well as attorney Kirk Schenck, who represents Lee’s daughter, J.C.
In recent months, Morgan and J.C. Lee have fought each other bitterly over access to Stan Lee.
Pow’s Chief Executive Shane Duffy said in a statement Monday that the company is planning to work with Lee again.
“We are ecstatic that this ill-founded lawsuit has been dismissed 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,” Duffy said. “We recently got together with Stan to discuss our path forward and we and Camsing are pleased with his overwhelmingly enthusiastic reaction.”