Yesterday, we ran a statement from Stan Lee to Bleeding Cool, including comments from his daughter JC Lee, her lawyer Kirk Schenck and Stan’s lawyer Jonathan Freund.
It talked about former business partner Keya Morgan, described videos he had taken and may be shipping around now as ‘hostage’ videos, and countered any allegation that JC Lee has physically abused her father. Lee’s statement requests that media sources do not publish these newly released videos.
We knew at the time it was to preempt other media coverage, and we tried to present it in that context. Today, the first of those articles ran on The Daily Beast by Mark Ebner, an interview with Stan Lee – and with JC Lee and Kirk Schenck interjecting. Or as Ebner puts it, regarding Schenck, stage managing. It was a counter to an interview he ran when Keya Morgan was the one holding the strings.
Ebner has seen one of the videos they were talking about, which he describes ‘one of which featured Lee—being coached by Morgan off-screen—alleging that Schenck was manipulating J.C. and supplying her with drugs’
He also tells Stan and JC that Keya Morgan had been talking to him about how much JC Lee has been abusing Stan Lee.
STAN: I wish that everyone would be as abusive to me as JC.
J.C. LEE: [Interjecting] He wishes everyone was so abusive.
STAN: She is a wonderful daughter. I like her. We have occasional spats. But I have occasional spats with everyone. I’ll probably have one with you, where I’ll be saying, “I didn’t say that!” But, that’s life.
Does it surprise you that, now that he’s banished from your life, he’s leveling all these accusations at your daughter?
STAN: I don’t know that he was. But it wouldn’t surprise me, no.
And that Keya has video in which Stan Lee talks about Kirk Schenck supplying JC Lee with drugs.
STAN: Well, I heard that he had been saying things against her. But that doesn’t surprise me, because there is so much of that happening in Hollywood. When you stop working for somebody, you can have an unfriendly misalliance.
J.C.: Vindictive people.
On this video, you said that he provided drugs to J.C., and he was a bad influence. Okay, Kirk—have you supplied drugs to J.C.?
KIRK SCHENCK: No.
J.C.: That’s what I say. It’s legal now. If I want to, I can drive down the street and buy it.
Keya made a video tape on which you said that Kirk was a bad influence on your daughter J.C., and that he was supplying her with marijuana, which he shouldn’t have. Is this something that you’re unclear about?
STAN: I must have been talking about someone else. People are always talking about people here. Maybe somebody mentioned that to me at the time, but it’s never something I would say.
He also chooses not to take the opportunity to badmouth his former business manager Max Anderson – though JC does take that opportunity.
And before that, you had a long relationship with Max Anderson, who, it’s been alleged, has been ripping you off for years. And may well still be doing so with your intellectual property.
STAN: No, not any more. He was doing that for a while.
J.C.: He still has your property. You don’t know what he’s doing with it.
STAN: I mean, there’s nothing I’m doing with him.
Naturally, Max Anderson has denied any such thing. What will may people close to Stan may be the word that he has changed his will and financial arrangements. In the now-disputed notarized statement taken by previous lawyer Tom Lallas, he talks about his concern over JC Lee’s financial acumen as a reason to why he was setting his fortune up as a trust on his death, rather then her inheriting it all at once. Stan says,
STAN: I decided my daughter is no longer a teenager. This money will be left to her, and instead of waiting until I die, I will give her as much as I can for her to enjoy now. And that’s what I’m trying to do. Sometimes we have a few discussions. “Dad, can I ever have another few bucks?” And I say, “Are you sure you’ll be left with enough?” But there’s no problem. There’s no problem at all.
As for his current state,
Do you feel comfortable now in terms of having the right people around you? Short of a conservatorship, are you finally in a place where you feel comfortable with the people around you making decisions for you?
STAN: Absolutely. Starting with this fella I call “Hairspray.” [He nods to the inked-up guy named John.] He does what—
J.C.: —He does everything. He’s a guy Friday, and he really stepped up. We’ve been trying to get him for a year.
‘Hairspray’ – that would presumably be Jonathan Bolerjack, a former employee of Max Anderson until very recently. And now working with Stan Lee.
The interview is all over the place. But while it does paint those around Stan Lee as stage managing his life, and repeatedly answering for him, it may not be as damaging as his current camp may have thought. It is clear that Stan Lee does not follow every thread, every question, or have as strong feelings about certain matters as his daughter does, and concerns raised are still present, but on a number of matters, Stan Lee remains as clear-headed and forthright as ever. And the Daily Beast reporter, who has experienced both sides of this story, at least feels comfortable with Stan being comfortable.
It is possible that further videos taken by Keya Morgan may serve to muddy this issue. And I will be reading what The Vulture is to run with interest.