Former Marvel chief and comic-book icon Stan Lee has reportedly been accused of groping and other forms of sexual misconduct by several nurses who cared for him at his Los Angeles home.
According to the Daily Mail, a Los Angeles-area nursing company is in a legal dispute with the 95-year-old Lee over the allegations. Nurses claim that Lee groped them, requested to receive oral sex in the shower or be otherwise “pleasured,” and walked around naked in front of them.
The report did not name the nursing company due to privacy reasons.
A representative for Lee blasted the claims in a statement to the Daily Mail, claiming the comics legend “categorically denies” the accusations and intends to “fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character.”
“We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled,” Lee attorney Tom Lallas said in a statement. “Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media. Mr. Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Lee — who began working with Marvel in the late 1950s and went on to co-create some of the world’s best-known superheroes, including Spiderman, the X-Men, and the Incredible Hulk — has remained active in the company’s properties, and regularly appears in cameo roles in Marvel’s blockbuster films.
In its report, the Daily Mail quotes a “source with knowledge of the situation” as saying that Lee was “very handsy” with some of the nurses, and had engaged in “unacceptable behavior.”
“The owner at the nursing company has openly said to people that Stan has sexually harassed every single nurse that has been to the house. That got back to Lee and sparked this whole thing,” the unnamed source said. “‘It appears the owner, who has nursed Stan herself, eventually decided enough was enough.”
But Julie Wozniak, a representative for the nursing company that has taken over in the wake of the allegations, said Lee had been nothing but “kind, polite and respectful” since they had begun working for him.
“It’s been a privilege to care for him,” Wozniak told the Mail.
Lee is the latest figure in Hollywood to have been accused of sexual misconduct in recent months, following allegations against numerous prominent men including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, and dozens of others.
The ongoing scandal was a major theme at the industry’s first major awards show Sunday night, the Golden Globes, where actresses wore all black on the red carpet as a protest statement against sexual abuse.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum