Stan Lee accused of sexual harassment by massage therapist; complaint filed in Illinois circuit court
Stan Lee, the 95-year-old former head of Marvel Comics and creator of numerous comic book heroes like Spiderman and the Hulk, has been named in a sexual harassment complaint filed on Monday in Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.
The incident first came to light in January when the Daily Mail had reported that Lee had groped, demanded sex and then masturbated in front of a masseuse at a Chicago hotel in April 2017. The sexual harassment is said to have taken place when Lee was attending The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2).
At the time Lee — through his personal lawyer Tom Lallas — had categorically denied the allegation and had claimed this is another attempt at extorting money or a ‘shake down’.
The masseuse Maria Carballo has claimed she was sent to Lee's room at a hotel in Chicago to perform a two-hour massage on the morning of 21 April, 2017, according to People. The massage was scheduled by Lee's assistant, who is also named as a defendant in the complaint. A representative for Lee did not return People's request for comment. Carballo said in the complaint that she did not report the incident to police in fear that, "in light of Lee's wealth and status" making a police report "would hurt her job". She claimed Lee's assistant knew of his "inappropriate behavior."
The massage therapist added the #MeToo movement inspired her "to fight for her dignity by standing up for herself". Citing assault, battery and other counts, Carballo is seeking a judgment "in excess of $50,000, plus an award of punitive damages, and attorneys' fees and costs as permitted under the statute," reported The Wrap.
Meanwhile, controversy has recently swirled around Lee, who sued a former business manager alleging fraud and has spoken out bydefending his daughter after others around him claimed she was trying to gain control of his assets.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 12:55:39 IST
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