According to federal statistics, elder abuse is on the rise. An estimated 1 in 4 cases of senior abuse goes unreported in spite of laws to prevent it.
Over the last few months there have been conflicting stories that have appeared in the media as to whether or not beloved Marvel Comics creator and illustrator, Stan Lee had been the target of abuse after the death of Lee’s wife. Allegedly, Jerardo Olivarez who was selling vials of Lee’s blood as well as comics that had been stamped with his blood as collectibles to fans.
A Confusing Set of Circumstances
On April 12th, Stan Lee himself took to social media and claimed he was not a victim of elder abuse at all, and vowed to “sue the a** off” of anyone who continued to publish malicious lies about allegations of abuse that were being leveled against his ‘friends’. In the video, Stan Lee specifically mentions his friend, Keya Morgan, who is currently Lee’s primary caregiver. However, no mention is made of Olivarez.
According to John F. Cordisco, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Bucks County, “Cases involving public figures and large estates like these can be especially complicated. The Court may ultimately have to decide what happens and who is best able to protect the elder & their interests. “
The accusations of elder abuse surrounding Lee are nothing new. In 2016, police were called to Lee’s home and he and his wife were interviewed regarding elder abuse allegations filed by their daughter, Joan Lee. Police investigated the situation and determined that the allegations were baseless. In 2014, Stan Lee’s former manager, Bradley J. Herman, alleged that during an argument that had arisen between Joan (J.C.) Lee and both of her parents had escalated to physical abuse. A representative of the Hollywood Reporter and another visitor confirmed as having also seen the wounds inflicted on both Stan and Joanie Lee.
On February 13, 2018, Lee accused Olivarez, Keya Morgan, and Kirk Schenk, attorney for Joan Lee, of attempting to “gain control over my assets, property and money.” The document that was notarized and filed at the office of Stan Lee’s attorney at the time, Tom Lallas. Lee also filed a declaration that said J.C. Lee was totally dependent upon her parents since she has been unable to be self-supporting.
A few days later, Lallas, who had been representing Lee for more than 20 years, was removed as his attorney – as were his gardener and his housekeeper who had also been with him for decades. The current situation regarding Lee and the 95-year-old’s estates are made even more confusing because Lee did file suit regarding fraud and misappropriation of funds by Jerardo Olivarez and Hands of Respect, LLC, which siphoned large amounts of money from Lee’s accounts without his participation or knowledge.