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Stan Lee speaks out on his experience with elder abuse

The 95-year-old writer talked to the press for the first time in months

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Presents Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic-Con on Saturda,, October 28, 2017
Stan Lee at Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic-Con in 2017.
Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

For the first time since the wider world became aware of a complicated web of elder abuse allegations surrounding Stan Lee, the famed Marvel Comics titan has spoken to a reporter about his experience.

The 95-year-old Lee, as observed by The Daily Beast, is now in the care of his daughter, J.C. Lee, the family lawyer, Kirk Schenk, a bodyguard and a home aid.

“The only thing that matters is one thing: That is him [Stan] being okay, and happy,” J.C. told the Daily Beast.

When The Daily Beast asked if Lee felt that his legacy was secure, he answered “Absolutely.”

“I learned later on in life,” he said in the interview, “you need advisors if you’re making any money at all. I did everything myself. The first years of my career when I wrote Super Rabbit, and when I wrote all those characters, and I wrote the Hulk — I handled everything. I paid all the bills, I did all the bookkeeping, I handled everything. But then, a little money started coming in, and I realized I needed help. And I needed people I could trust. And I had made some big mistakes. And my first bunch of people were people that I shouldn’t have trusted.”

Lee’s past year in the public view has been characterized by dueling accusations of elder care abuse within the his network of his family and caretakers. Information about Lee’s situation is varied and complicated, but reached a new stage in July, when a judge approved a restraining order preventing Lee’s former caretaker, Keya Morgan, from coming within 100 yards of Lee or Lee’s daughter and brother.

In August, a statement given by Desert Wind Comics and Collectibles, a memorabilia company, to the news outlet Bleeding Cool, confirmed that Lee would no longer be doing signing events at public appearances or conventions. Lee’s lawyers could not confirm the news to Polygon at the time.

Public knowledge of Lee’s troubles began in February of 2018, when Lee’s then-attorney filed a declaration accusing three of his associates and his daughter of attempting to take control of Lee’s affairs against his will, and forbidding them from being appointed as his guardian, executor or trustee. Yet by May, it seemed as if one of those associates, Morgan, had control over Lee’s appearances and was screening his calls, writing his emails and orchestrating all of his social media accounts.

In addition to the restraining order, Morgan has also been charged with two counts of reporting a false emergency, one for calling 911 to report there were burglars inside Lee’s home when he was being visited by two police detectives and a social worker who were investigating claims of elder abuse against Morgan, and one for claiming assault with a deadly weapon against a security guard who had refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

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