Stan Lee’s chaotic last year

People (South Africa) - - Contents - BY AN­GELA BEKIARIS

IT seems Mar­vel Comic’s icon Stan Lee suf­fered for the last year of his life be­fore pass­ing away at the age of 95, and while this Hol­ly­wood tragedy doesn’t come with sub­stance abuse and over­dos­ing, it was, say in­sid­ers, filled with just as much chaos.

The icon’s last words to his fans was that he loved them, but what these fans didn’t know what that since the death of his wife Joanie in 2017, Lee’s in­ner cir­cle had im­ploded in a sor­did power strug­gle from which he never fully re­cov­ered. Ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers, the fi­nal pan­els of 95-year-old Stan Lee’s life were ‘lurid, grim and dis­heart­en­ing’.

Shortly after los­ing his wife of seven decades to a stroke last year, the Mar­vel cre­ator found him­self at the cen­tre of a tabloid frenzy, with mem­bers of his ri­val­rous in­ner cir­cle ac­cus­ing each other of theft, fraud and as­sault. There was re­port­edly a power strug­gle over who would tend to the in­creas­ingly frail star, who due to his ad­vanced age re­quired full-time nurs­ing care. The man, known for co-cre­at­ing Mar­vel’s beloved su­per­heroes like Spi­der-Man, the X-Men, the Fan­tas­tic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Dare­devil, Black Pan­ther and Doc­tor Strange, was suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia. But there was more pain and suf­fer­ing in his life over the last year.

Ear­lier this year, the icon’s daugh­ter, JC Lee, was granted an el­derly abuse re­strain­ing or­der against her dad’s former man­ager and care­taker, Keya Mor­gan. Mor­gan was ac­cused of keep­ing Lee from his daugh­ter while con­trol­ling the king­pin’s $50-mil­lion (R710mil­lion) for­tune. But while Lee in­sisted there was no abuse, the re­strain­ing or­der stood and Mor­gan was re­moved from his po­si­tion.

Lee was also in­volved in a scary in­ci­dent in­volv­ing two strangers who were seen out­side this house, one al­legedly de­mand­ing money from the multi-mil­lion­aire. Dur­ing the last year he also fired his man­ager Max An­der­son and nurse Linda Sanchez amid claims of a scheme to drive a wedge be­tween him and his fam­ily. Re­ports claim Sanchez gave Lee naked show­ers with ‘happy end­ing’ mas­sages, while cops in­ves­ti­gated an al­leged $1.4-mil­lion (R20-mil­lion) that was miss­ing from the comic gi­ant’s bank ac­counts.

And not long be­fore his death, florist-turned­pub­li­cist Jerry Oli­varez, who’d worked for

Lee’s only daugh­ter, JC, was sued for self­deal­ing and mis­ap­pro­pri­at­ing Lee’s funds. JC was fi­nally left in charge of her fa­mous dad, and now re­veals that the icon left some­thing be­hind for all of his fans — one fi­nal su­per­hero.

Ac­cord­ing to JC Lee, her fa­ther was help­ing her de­velop ‘Dirt Man’, say­ing she’d ‘tried to get him to do a char­ac­ter with her her en­tire life’.

“We have been work­ing on a char­ac­ter called Dirt Man,” she says. “I said, ‘Daddy please, no clat­ter, no steel, no any of that. Let’s get down and dirty … Let’s do Dirt Man.” Not re­veal­ing much more, she con­tin­ues, “It is very in­ter­est­ing. It’s not over yet, we still have a lit­tle trick­ery,” adding that she hoped it would be made into a film.

JC also re­veals that she was plan­ning to cre­ate a child­hood lit­er­acy foun­da­tion in her fa­ther’s name. “The im­por­tance of the writ­ten word and the im­por­tance of read­ing is not to be un­der­es­ti­mated. “One rea­son Stan is ‘Stan the Man’ is he took his craft very se­ri­ously,” she said. “There’s a lot to be passed on to chil­dren about read­ing and writ­ing, maybe do­ing com­pe­ti­tions – we’re tak­ing this as far as we can take it.”

THE le­gend’s last year was filled with el­der abuse, a re­strain­ing or­der and ha­rass­ment.

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