Sunday, July 31, 2022

Stan Lee’s estate settles elder abuse lawsuit against ex-business manager

by Peony Hirwani

Stan Lee’s estate has agreed to settle claims of exploitation and elder abuse against the writer’s former business manager, Jerardo “Jerry” Olivarez.

Stan Lee sued Olivarez and his former attorney Uvi Litvak in 2018, calling them “unscrupulous businessmen, sycophants and opportunists” seeking to take advantage of him following the death of his wife, Joan Lee.

According to a court document filed on Monday (25 July), Lee’s estate moved to settle up this issue.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, and the document doesn’t include claims against Litvak.

At first, Olivarez was a consultant to his daughter JC Lee and wife Joan’s business endeavours before ending up with power of attorney over Lee after his wife’s death.

“Jerry Olivarez and JC Lee, Stan and Joan Lee’s only daughter and Trustee of the Lee Family Trust, are happy to announce the resolution of their Court dispute,” Olivarez’s attorney Donald Randolph said in a statement on Wednesday (27 July). “The genesis of this dispute was the unfortunate manipulation of Stan Lee and his family undertaken by certain individuals – not named in the lawsuit – which was intended to unfairly malign Jerry Olivarez.

“These individuals exerted undue influence on the Lee family to accuse Jerry Olivarez of harmful acts which he did not do.”

The original lawsuit accused Olivarez of firing Lee’s trusted banker and transferring approximately $4.6m out of his bank without authorisation.

It also mentioned that Olivarez convinced Lee to sign over power of attorney to him, and allegedly appointed his own lawyer, Livtak, without disclosing the conflict of interest.

Before his death, Lee claimed that Olivarez tricked him into loaning a large sum of money, and modified his will.

He alleged fraud, financial abuse of an elder and misappropriation of name and likeness, among other claims.

“Olivarez abused his relationship of trust with Lee and JC Lee, knowledge of Lee’s and JC Lee’s confidential business and estate planning operations, and ability to mislead Lee due his advanced age all in a covert and intentional effort to dupe Lee into a host of schemes and financial missteps that benefited Olivarez and disenfranchised Lee,” the complaint read.

Lee died in 2018. He was 95 years old.

An ambulance was called to his home in Hollywood Hills and took him to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died.

Lee had suffered from pneumonia earlier that year. He also struggled with vision issues and had revealed in 2016 he could no longer read the comics he created.

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