When Comic-con Asia, set in the Philippines was first announced to feature Stan Lee, I was actually happy and excited. I was raring to meet him and welcome him to his visit to the Philippines.
Then I had my doubts. The man is already ninety-five and looked really frail. It’s a marvel that he has time and energy to attend all these comic book conventions popping up in the US, let alone take an intercontinental flight to attend the tedious event called Comic-con Asia. If it was tedious during Stan’s postponement, imagine if he actually showed up! One has to ask; does he actually show up to these conventions of his own free will? Or has he become a living oddity during a paid exhibit? Though I really wanted to back in his glory back then, at least during the Q&A, I kind of feel sorry that he still has to entertain us convention fans and filmgoers instead of living a peaceful quiet life at home. But according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, his home isn’t any better than the outside world. He might as well have signed HELP on a Black Panther comic book instead of STAN with his own blood.
According to the article, things haven’t been good for Stan since the death of his wife Joanie. They both looked happy and charming in a Stan Lee documentary I watched some time ago. Joanie was kind but assertive and controlled Stan’s affairs as soundly as a good wife could. She was better at business decisions than Stan was. However, after her passing, the control of Stan’s business affairs completely fell to external agents. These external agents include his own unruly 67-year old daughter and sole heir to the estate, JC Lee and several family friends. Memorabilia dealer Keya Morgan, Kirk Schenck who is JC’s attorney, florist-turned-publicist Jerry Olivarez, and Stan’s long-time road manager Max Anderson. It’s hard to imagine the feeling of a man Stan’s age to lose his lifelong partner, and now he has to put up with a daughter he’s not in good terms with. Let’s just say that without Stan’s continuing income, JC would be filing chapter 11 in no time. Also, according to the document, Stan has low opinions of Morgan, Olivarez, and Schenk calling them men with bad intentions.
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“It is not uncommon for J.C. to charge, in any given month, $20,000 to $40,000 on credit cards, sometimes more,”
— Stan Lee, February 13 Declaration document
Now mostly, JC and Keya are calling the shots after having pushed out Anderson and Olivarez using various accusations including the most recent news that Olivarez stole Stan Lee’s blood to be used in ink to sign some Black Panther comics. Anderson was ousted for allegedly having skimmed money from Lee’s many convention appearances. Many of Stan’s old lawyers, assistants, and house staff have been replaced, and Morgan is currently in charge of Stan’s calls and emails.
“Stan Lee has macular degeneration and his eyes cannot see small letters… I have been taking him to the eye doctor and reading his e-mails for him for many years. This is his request, and he thanks me for helping him.”
— Keya Morgan, from Hollywood Reporter
Basically, without Joanie Lee’s strong-willed supervision on her husband, Stan became an open buffet to JC, Morgan, Olivarez, and Anderson. Anderson, after his ouster accused JC and Morgan of keeping Stan against his will. Anderson also accused Morgan of leaking the news about Stan’s sexual improprieties with his nursing staff. Speaking of sexual improprieties, former Lee nurse Linda Sanchez, charged with Lee’s care after the death of Joanie was threatened and bullied by both Morgan and Schenk regarding her disclosures in the February 13 Declaration that JC got physical with her parents and the state of affairs in the household. Schenk and Morgan threatened to expose a past DUI misdemeanor and that she got physical with Stan Lee, going so far as saying her current pregnancy was a result of the latter. JC apparently wants her child.
Even JC herself is wary of her friends, Morgan and Olivarez according to former Lee-lawyer Tom Lallas and according to Olivarez and Anderson, Morgan will be next, leaving JC and Schenk to handle Stan.
There are videos of Stan Lee that contradict the stuff written in the Hollywood Reporter article apparently filmed by Keya Morgan. That Stan is in good terms with his daughter JC and her friend Keya Morgan. That there’s nothing amiss.
“my relationship with my daughter has never been better, and my friend Keya Morgan and I also have a great relationship … anybody who is saying anything [else] … is just spreading lies.”
— Stan Lee
Many however beg to differ especially at how sorry the affair was at the Silicon Valley Comic-con where Lee couldn’t even seem to spell his name correctly. Really, the man should no longer be seen in cons signing stuff all day. I bet many fans feel the same thing but are conflicted as Stan Lee’s rare con visits may be the last chance for them to bask in Stan’s light. Stan Lee may need to have independent oversight like the late Mickey Rooney did. The same goes for aging JC who needs help against herself.
What Stan really needs right now are his old friends and supportive peers in the comic and pop culture industry. Kevin Smith even offered to take him in and away from the circus. Todd MacFarlane recently made a visit to the Lee household to see how his old mentor was doing.
“For the next 60 minutes, we talked about things like his growing up in New York, his love of comics, his even bigger love of his late wife Joanie and how he was doing health-wise… He told me that getting old kind of sucked but said, ‘what are you going to do?’ His stories told me how obvious it was that he missed his wife and, how every day, a pair of ducks come swooping down from the sky to land in his pool and then come up to the glass windows begging for food (which his wife would oblige every time). We talked baseball, movies and he asked what it was it like for me to live next to a giant natural desert preserve in Arizona. Basically, it was every day, normal banter mixed with a few fun stories…. As I got up to leave, Stan grabbed my hand and said, “Todd, thanks for coming by. Your visit is much better than any medicine I could take,”
— Todd MacFarlane, Facebook entry
Stan could probably use Spawn to watch over the Lee household.