Stan Lee, Marvel Sued by Stan Lee Media for $750M
Company claimed it's owed profits from films such as 'Iron Man' and 'X-Men'
Shareholders at Stan Lee Media Inc. filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court Monday (Jan. 26) against Stan Lee, his partner Arthur Lieberman, his wife Joan Clayton, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and producer Avi Arad, according to news reports.
Four unnamed SLMI shareholders claim that they're owed more than $750 millions from blockbusters starring Marvel superheroes including "Iron Man," "Spider-Man" and "X-Men" since Lee allegedly gave them 50 percent ownership rights to his superhero characters in 1998 when they agreed to pay him a $250,000 annual salary as well as $100 million in company stock. The company had filed for bankruptcy in 2001 but reemerged in 2006 and wants its interests acknowledged.
The shareholders alleged that Lee has now cut a deal with Marvel that prevents them from profiting off the superheroes.
Lee has denied the allegations and countersued SLMI for $50 million, claiming they seized control of his name and image and are preventing him from devloping certain properties as part of his first-look deals with Disney and Virgin Comics.