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Marvel founder Stan Lee sues former company POW! Entertainment for $1bn

Marvel creator Stan Lee has filed a lawsuit against his former company POW! Entertainment for $1bn (£740m) in damages, alleging he was duped into signing a document giving away the rights to his name.

According to Lee, POW! Entertainment executives including co-founder Gill Champion and CEO Shane Duffy allegedly made a “sham deal” to sell POW! to a Chinese company called Camsing.

Duffy also presides over Camsing as the vice president. 

The lawsuit filed against POW! in California claims that Champion and Duffy “conspired” to steal the 95-year-old comic book legend’s “identity, name, image and likeness as part of a nefarious scheme to benefit financially at [his] expense”, The Guardian reports.

It further states that Lee has been suffering from advanced macular degeneration and he hasn’t been able to read or drive by himself.

Lee’s lawyers claim that the deal with Camsing went through when the Marvel founder’s wife of almost 70 years, Joan Lee, was dying and he was “in a state of total devastation”.

The suit claims that “Duffy and Champion were incentivised to get a deal between POW! and Camsing done because each of them would benefit financially” and that the executives “never disclosed the actual terms of the deal to Lee before closing it”.

“Lee did not even grant an exclusive licence to his identity, image, name and likeness to the Walt Disney Company in a multibillion dollar deal, let alone give his name and likeness away for free to a company in China,” says the lawsuit, which explains that Lee would not have knowingly signed something giving exclusive permission to use his identity.

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