A Few Brief Sentences On Stan Lee Sexual Harassment Charges
Like most people I read this Daily Mail piece about Stan Lee physically and verbally accosting healthcare workers assigned to the 95-year-old's care. Every single story of this nature needs to be taken absolutely seriously.
In this case, I join a lot of industry observers in believing it might be better to embrace a deliberate attitude as part of that seriousness and keep ourselves from skipping to the next step. The Daily Mail is a toilet with a web site. Unlike reports where an individual reaches out to the press person, there's a factual claim of a legal filing that has been disputed by Lee's camp. Either we find out such a filing was made or we find out this is not true. If that all works out to be credible, there could be issues -- not justifications but issues -- with Lee being a 95-year-old recent widower that might make us pull apart what we learn in a slightly different way than the speed and certainty that might benefit another case.
The danger is that comics frequently ignores stuff unless it's in their twitter feed right this minute, and comics entities frequently wait out stories they don't want to engage -- the Akira Yoshida story being the latest. I hope that at least the industry press will take it on themselves to keep their eye on this one if the initial facts take a few weeks to sort out. I'll be figuring it out, too. There may be a tough decision or two out there for conventions/festivals that are set to host Lee in the meantime.
Stan Lee Faces Another Accusation of Sexual Misconduct
Following a report earlier this week of allegations of sexual misconduct against legendary Marvel Comics writer and editor Stan Lee, another accuser has come forward.
The Daily Mail, which on Tuesday reported claims made by “a string” of home care nurses, now adds an allegation by a Chicago masseuse that Lee masturbated in front of her in his hotel room after he groped her and demanded sex during the 2017 Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo.
Tom Lallas, an attorney for the 95-year-old Lee, said in a statement that his client “categorically denies” the allegations, and suggested to the newspaper that the claims by the unnamed masseuse are part of “another” shakedown for money. That appears to be a callback to Lallas’ assertion that Lee has been the target of blackmail and extortion. Lee does not, however, deny having contact with the masseuse in Chicago.
The Daily Mail contends that the masseuse has filed a legal complaint, leading to “high-level meetings” with lawyers representing Marvel and Lee’s POW! Entertainment, which was purchased in May by Hong Kong-based Camsing International Holding.
Lee’s planned appearance tonight in Glendale, Arizona, at the National Hockey League game between the Arizona Coyotes and Edmonton Oilers was abruptly canceled following the allegations of sexual misconduct made earlier this week. He had been scheduled to drop the ceremonial pregame puck. Lee remains a featured guest of this weekend’s Ace Comic Con in Glendale, alongside such actors as Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell.
According to the Daily Mail, “a string of young female nurses” who worked in Lee’s home claim that he repeatedly groped and harassed them, and demanded to be “pleasured.” The nursing company reportedly stopped working with Lee in late 2016, and is involved in an unspecified legal dispute him. However, no lawsuit has been filed, and no criminal complaint has been made. Lallas said Lee denies the “false and despicable allegations.”
Lee’s wife of 69 years, Joan Lee, passed away in July at age 93.
New Allegation That Stan Lee Groped the Wife of a Comic Book Creator Last Year Posted by Rich Johnston January 12, 2018
This week, MailOnline ran two exclusive stories dealing with allegations of sexual harassment by the 95-year-old Marvel Universe co-creator Stan Lee against a number of nurses attending his home, from a nursing care company, and a hotel massage therapist at C2E2. These allegations were described by his lawyers as a “shakedown”. After each of those reports, there have also been many people who come out to state that Lee has always behaved “like a gentleman” towards women and men alike, even in the eras of Mad Men-style casual sexist and racist office culture. One example of him using “blue” language when approving the Carol Danvers Ms. Marvel costume has been referred to, but precious little else. Bleeding Cool has also looked at further details of these claims from Alan Duke, producer on Crime Stories With Nancy Grace, who has been closely involved with these allegations.
Two days ago, a prominent comic book creator offered an alternative perspective after reading these reports, writing online about attending a comic book convention last year and meeting Lee again:
Ah man. I only believe this because the last time I saw Stan, he gave my wife a little grope and an extended kiss. I thought it was funny at first because he’s Stan Lee, he was 94 at the time and while strange, I thought harmless. My wife even cracked up. But reading this story, makes it a lot less funny.
And his wife joined the thread to back it up, saying:
True story, at the time thinking about it it was funny. Little old man, comic legend, he pulled me on to his lap and full on kisses me. I laughed it off. But yeah that totally happened to me too?
When others doubted such such accusations, she doubled down.
So you’re saying I wasn’t groped and he didn’t try to stick his tongue down my throat while my husband was watching during a meet and greet? That was 6 months ago btw.
And a very senior A-List creator added:
I remember you telling me this at the time it happened. I am sorry this happened to you. I remember how much you looked forward to meeting him that day.
While the original artist added:
I’ve known Stan for over 30 years. I hope none of the allegations are true. Facts remain that the allegations are plausible. If I hadn’t had seen a small degree of it with my own eyes, I would be in full on defending Stan mode.
Bleeding Cool has been asked not to identify the couple, but the artist is well known and a relative veteran in the comics and TV industry. Stan Lee’s attorney, who has denied the allegations made by the Daily Mail/Mail Online, did not return enquiring emails and messages sent by Bleeding Cool two days ago, but we will run any such comment sent in reply to us.