Thursday, May 30, 2024

Marvel Creator Stan Lee’s Daughter Sanctioned $1 Mil by US District Court, Plus Accused “Elder Abuser” Has All Misdemeanor Count Dismissed


JC Lee, the daughter of late Marvel Comics genius Stan Lee, has been sanctioned to the tune of $1 million by US District Court of Central California for filing unnecessary lawsuits in her father’s name. She was upbraided by the judge in the case for not respecting her father’s legacy.

US District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II dismissed as “frivolous” a lawsuit brought JC Lee, as her father’s heir, against POW Entertainment, the company that Stan formed once he sold Marvel to Disney in 1998. He ordered sanctions against her of $1 million, which must be paid to the court, including $250,000 from her lawyers, who the judge held liable as well.

Judge Wright wrote: “Stan Lee, a super hero in his own right. served to inspire the everyday hero. The Court urges parties to to treat his legacy with respect and cease engaging in meritless litigation.”

At the same time, in a different LA court, JC’s rival (and some might say enemy) Keya Morgan– who’d been Stan Lee’s friend, manager, partner– had the last of 4 misdemeanor counts against him dismissed for allegedly making fake 911 calls from Stan’s home. Morgan is now suing JC Lee and a number of people for defamation and fraud.

Stan Lee died November 12, 2018 at the age of 95. His wife predeceased him, leaving him vulnerable, sources say, to daughter JC (Joan Celia), who resented his friendships and other relationships.

Judge Wright noted that the POW agreement had already been the subject of previous legal actions, all of which went in their favor. The judge wrote: “JC Lee is a negligent, if not willful, participant, in the frivolous and improper filings.”  JC should be thankful that the judge didn’t agree to POW’s original sanction request of $5 million to put an end to this madness. As it is, she will have to pay POW’s legal fees in addition to the $1 million.

Meanwhile, what Morgan has gone through is the most absurd part of this story. By coincidence, he had told me, in passing, in early 2018, that he’d been trying to help Stan Lee since his wife had died, and that people were preying on the Marvel founder.

Morgan’s friendship with Lee is one of those cases of no good deed goes unpunished. He was arrested on June 11, 2018 by LAPD, Commercial Crimes Division detectives for allegedly generating false 911 calls on May 30th and May 31st, 2018. The LAPD statement said: “In both instances, Morgan was using this tactic to further deceive Lee into believing he was in danger and needed to be moved from his home to a more secured condominium where Morgan had more control over Lee.”

But on Friday Morgan cleared a big hurdle with the dismissal of the purported fake 911 calls. He always said he was innocent, had the proof, and he did.

Next month, Morgan will confront JC Lee again in court over her accusations about false imprisonment and stealing money. Morgan, I’m told, has all the receipts. To wit: In May 2019, six months after Stan’s death, Morgan was also charged with one felony count of false imprisonment of an elder or dependent adult, three felony counts of grant theft of more than $100,000 from an elder or dependent adult and one misdemeanor count of abuse of an elder or dependent adult. He was jailed in Arizona and bail was set at $300,000. His arrest was made into a big show. But again, he’s confident of his innocence.

One big question that remains: who stoked the local press out west about Morgan, making him seem like a criminal on the run? Someone or something has been Keya Morgan’s Thanos all through this. We may never get that answer.





Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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