Stan Lee is rebutting claims — made recently in a document allegedly signed by him — that his daughter Joan Celia “J.C.” Lee and friend Keya Morgan are trying to “gain control over [his] assets, property and money.”
The 95-year-old comic book legend filmed two videos standing by the pair for The Hollywood Reporter, saying that “my relationship with my daughter has never been better and my friend, Keya Morgan and I, also have a great relationship.”
His denial comes as a Feb. 13 document purportedly signed by Lee claimed that Morgan was one of three men with “bad intentions” trying to influence the 68-year-old J.C. — leverage that the document claims could be used to wipe his $50-$70 million fortune clean and leave his daughter ultimately homeless.
The disputed papers, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, show Lee claiming that J.C. has “never had the ability to understand or manage money” and allegedly often overspent the money given to her in a trust he and his late wife Joan B. Lee had set up in her name. She also would allegedly demand properties would be transferred into her name, something the documents said Lee has always resisted.
Consequently, according to the documents, Lee, who co-created Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man and the X-men, wanted to set up an Irrevocable Trust which would pay all expenses for Lee’s home and condominium. Should J.C. want, she could live there for free. Or she could rent or sell the properties, and will be paid only the positive cash flow earned.
But in his video, which was filmed by Morgan, Lee calls the document “totally incorrect, inaccurate, misleading, and insulting” — though a lawyer involved in preparing the document says Lee approved everything in it.
“I want to say it as clearly as I can: my relationship with my lovely daughter J.C. is wonderful,” Lee says in the video. “My relationship with my good friend Keya Morgan is great, we’re best friends. There is nothing bad I can say about my daughter or Keya.”
He adds, “Everything in my life is going the way I want it to. My friends are my friends, my daughter is my daughter, and I’m beginning to learn who my enemies are. That’s really all I can say now. Everything I’ve said up until this moment is God’s truth.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Tom Lallas, a lawyer who prepared the document Lee signed, said the comic-book mogul was well aware of its contents. “I knew, when Mr. Lee signed the Declaration, that he suffers from macular degeneration that makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Lee to read documents. Accordingly, before Mr. Lee signed the Declaration, I told him that I was going to read it to him, in its entirety, and make any changes that he wanted made before presenting it to him for signature, and Mr. Lee agreed with this suggestion.”
“I read the Declaration to Mr. Lee word for word, line by line, sentence by sentence, from beginning to end,” he continued. “After each paragraph, I asked Mr. Lee if the paragraph I had just read was accurate, or if he wanted any changes to be made. Except for one paragraph, in each case, when I asked Mr. Lee these two questions after reading a paragraph, he told me that the paragraph I read to him was accurate, and no changes were necessary With respect to one paragraph, Mr. Lee directed me to make two changes, I made the changes as instructed by Mr. Lee, I read to him the revised paragraph, and he told me it was accurate and required no further changes. Mr. Lee then signed the Declaration, and the notary signed the notarial acknowledgment.”
While Lee didn’t deny signing the document, Lee did say in the video he has macular degeneration, an incurable eye disease that has left him “almost blind.”
“I cannot see well at all,” Lee said. He added of his daughter and Morgan: “They’re two of my best friends, loyalest friends. I don’t know why somebody… would want to cook up problems where no problems really exist. That’s really all I can say about it.”
Lee is the co-creator of a slew of iconic characters for Marvel Comics, including Black Panther, the X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Doctor Stranger, Ant-Man, the Fantastic Four and Daredevil.