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Fame and celebrity

Police investigate ‘elder abuse’ of Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee, 95, as restraining order is imposed on manager

Memorabilia dealer Keya Morgan, 42, had increasingly taken control of Lee’s life since befriending the comic creator’s only child - but on Monday he was arrested

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 10:10am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 10:32am

Los Angeles police are investigating reports of elder abuse against Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, court documents showed Wednesday.

The investigation was revealed in a restraining order that Lee was granted against Keya Morgan, who in recent months had been acting as Lee’s business manager and personal adviser.

Morgan has inserted himself into the life of the Lee, 95, according to the restraining order. Lee’s filing accuses Morgan, 42, of taking advantage of his impaired hearing, vision and judgment, moving Lee from his longtime family home and preventing family and associates from contacting him.

Morgan was arrested on Monday for allegedly filing a false police report by calling 911 saying burglars were in his house when in fact two detectives and a social worker were conducting a welfare check on Lee.

“I have a very dear friend I take care of who is 95 and um, uh, three unidentified people have gone inside this house and locked the door and locked his security out and I’m very, very scared that they’re harming him,” Morgan said on the 911 call made on May 30, according to a transcript filed with the restraining order.

Attempts to reach Morgan on Wednesday were not immediately successful. A lawyer he hired on a previous criminal case said he no longer works for Morgan, and it’s not clear if he’s retained new legal representation. Morgan’s mobile phone was no longer accepting messages.

Morgan’s arrest and ouster is the latest and thus far most dramatic move in a struggle that has emerged over Lee’s business and US$50 million fortune since his wife of 69 years, Joan Lee, died in July.

Police have been investigating reports of elder abuse against Lee since at least February, and had issued an emergency order keeping Morgan from Lee before Wednesday’s order was issued.

Lee has for decades been revered as a comic book giant for his central role in creating the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Iron Man and other major Marvel characters. In more recent years he has become a grandfatherly figure over the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with his comical cameos in each film beloved by fans.

Morgan is a memorabilia dealer and Marilyn Monroe expert who befriended Lee’s daughter and only child J.C. Lee, and since February has increasingly taken control of Lee’s life.

Lee appeared in a video on Sunday posted to his Twitter account declaring that Morgan was his only partner and representative, and anyone claiming otherwise was lying.

Detectives said in police reports that in interviews Lee acknowledged that Morgan had helped him, but would frequently forget his name when talking about him.